If you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, visits are hard. You may try to convince yourself that you don’t need to go; they don’t know you are there. But visitors are important to people with Alzheimer's. They may not always remember that you came, or who you are, but the human connection has value. If you or someone you know is planning on visiting someone with the disease in an assisted living community, here are some ideas.
- Visit at the time of day when the person with Alzheimer's is at his or her best.
- Bring along an activity, something familiar to read or photo albums to look at, but be prepared to skip it if necessary.
- Be calm and quiet. Don’t talk loudly or talk to the patient as if they are a child.
- Respect the patient’s space, don’t get too close.
- Try to establish eye contact and call the person by name to get his or her attention.
- Remind the person who you are if he or she doesn’t seem to recognize you.
- Don't argue if the person is confused. Be responsive to their feelings. Distract the patient to a different topic if needed.
- Please don’t take it personally if your loved one doesn’t recognize you, is unkind, or responds angrily. They are reacting out of confusion.