Visiting a Loved One Living in Memory Care

Living in Anchorage Memory Care

There’s a high chance that your family will be affected by dementia. This means you’ll most likely have, at some point, a friend or family member living in a memory care community. And you’ll most likely struggle with how often you should visit, for your loved ones’ health and yours. Here are a few things to consider to help you decide:

Even with Quality Care, Nothing Replaces Family and Friends.

Most assisted living community staff their facilities with responsible, dedicated, and loving professionals who work hard to make your loved one’s life easier. When your loved one first moves into a senior community, it’s best to visit (or arrange for other friends and family to visit) once a day for a while, coming in at different times and checking in regularly with the care staff.

Dementia patients are often confused and paranoid. But you should be able to judge within a week or two whether the place is a good fit and cut back on your visits, if you so decide, after that. Furthermore, a constant stream of family and friends, especially those who find time to offer kind words and “thank you’s” to care staff, goes a long way. With these extra measures you can ensure your loved one gets the attention she needs.

Are You Emotionally Ready for Visits?

Spending time with a loved one with dementia can be difficult. He may beg you to go home, not recognize you, or be unable to hold a rational conversation. If your distress over this is evident to the patient, or if you unintentionally agitate him by trying to force him to recall shared memories, your visits won’t help either of you. It might be best, in this case, to limit visits until you can come to grips with the patient’s condition. If you’re the primary caregiver or the closest family member, it’s best to call the community for updates. You can also recruit other, less close friends and family for the in-person visits.

Who are You to the Loved One?

If you have primary legal responsibility for the patient, you will have to find a way to monitor her care. That may mean calling in, arranging for a rotation of visiting friends and family or talking with a social worker about managing your grief during face-to-face interactions. Otherwise, visit the dementia patient as often as possible while remaining calm and positive. Your efforts will relieve the primary caregiver and some variety on the day of the patent.

It may seem that these questions focus more on the emotional health of the visitor than on the emotional needs of the dementia patient. The truth is, they cover both. The dementia patient will do best in an assisted living memory care community with top personalized care and regular interaction with kind and calm visitors.

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