If your parents are living with dementia, receiving care in memory care apartments in Bon Air, VA, visiting them can sometimes be a challenging experience. You may not be sure how to interact or what to expect, especially as their condition progresses. However, with a little preparation and understanding, you can create a comforting atmosphere for your loved ones and ensure your visits are meaningful. This article provides some guidelines to keep in mind when visiting your parents in a memory care setting, so keep reading to find out valuable insights.
Be Prepared for Changes
Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning your parents’ cognitive function may continue to decline over time. This might result in changes in memory, behavior, and ability to recognize familiar faces, even those of close family members. Before your visit, remind yourself that these changes are part of the disease and not a reflection of your relationship with your parents.
One way to prepare is by speaking with the team at the memory care apartment. They can update you about your parents’ current condition and any changes in their behavior. Being aware of these changes can help you adjust your expectations and approach your visit with understanding and patience.
Plan for Optimal Visit Times
Consider your parents’ best time of day when planning your visit. Many people with dementia experience ‘sundowning,’ a phenomenon where symptoms like confusion and agitation get worse late in the afternoon or in the evening. Therefore, scheduling your visit in the morning or early afternoon can lead to more enjoyable interactions.
Furthermore, keep your visits short and sweet, especially at first. Long visits can be overwhelming for individuals with dementia. As you gauge your parents’ comfort and tolerance for visits, you can gradually extend your visiting time if suitable.
Engage in Familiar Activities
During your visit to the memory care apartments in Bon Air, VA, engage your parents in activities they once enjoyed. Familiar pastimes can stir memories and bring comfort. You might listen to your favorite music, read a beloved book together, or simply sit and reminisce while looking at family photos.
If your parents enjoyed the outdoors, take advantage of the retirement community’s gardens or courtyards for a stroll. The community team can guide you about the amenities available for residents and their visitors.
When communicating with your parents, keep your language simple and your tone calm and reassuring. Instead of asking open-ended questions, try to ask yes/no questions or give them a choice between two options.
Maintain eye contact and use nonverbal cues like smiling or touching their hand gently. These gestures can communicate your love and presence, even if words become less effective.
Visiting parents with dementia in memory care apartments can be an emotional journey. However, with these guidelines in mind, you can create meaningful and comforting experiences during your visits. Remember that every interaction, no matter how small, matters. In Bon Air, VA, memory care apartments are designed to support residents and their loved ones through this journey, fostering an environment of understanding, love, and patience.