If your ageing parent has dementia, it can be hard to keep up with their ever-changing needs. For one, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when caring for old adults. Add the fact that dementia patients have special needs, you may no longer be a good fit to take care of them. This is the main reason dementia nursing homes exist.
Once you’ve done your research and chosen an excellent dementia care home in Dover for your loved one, the next step is to prepare them for the move. But what happens after they move in? You can still spend quality time with your loved one. But since you are visiting a dementia patient, it pays to know how to properly visit your loved one.
Set a realistic expectation
The stage of your parent’s dementia should be taken into account before you even visit them. Before you show yourself to your loved one, make sure to talk to their caregivers about their current state. This will help you know what to expect during the visit. If you’re not sure how to handle each visitation, don’t hesitate to ask the staff. Since they are expert caregivers, they can tell you the best ways to approach, act, and talk to your loved one.
Limit the number of visitors
Typically, only a limited number of people are allowed to visit each day. Dementia patients can be easily distracted. Having many visitors at a time can make them feel overwhelmed. If you want company when visiting your loved one, limit it to only two.
Bring along things that can trigger good memories
On your next visit, try to bring a couple of things that can make them remember a few memories. This can be a photo album, videos, or even some of the items they were fond of. They may not be able to recall such memories, but studies suggest that they can still recall how they felt even with the loss of memory. So don’t think that all your efforts will be in vain.
Be mindful of the things you say
Living with dementia can be extremely hard. You may think you know how it is, but you can never know how it feels. This is why you should always be mindful of your words when visiting a dementia patient. Avoid saying “remember when” and “I just told you that…” It is better to lead the conversation by saying, “I remember when…” and to always be patient when answering their questions.
Play some of their favorite songs
Everyone enjoys a little bit of music, no matter your age or condition. So why not play your loved one’s favorite music or sing their favorite songs? You can use music therapy for dementia patients to help them recall events and improve their moods. It can even ease their discomfort and allow social interaction and communication.
Even if your loved one can no longer remember you, they still deserve your time and attention. They may be staying in a safe and reliable care home, but that doesn’t mean that they no longer need your presence. Make it a point to visit them as often as you can.