Can I Visit My Parent with Alzheimer’s in Their Memory Care Community?

Texas approved visitation in senior living back in March. Of course, there were many precautions to consider before facilities could choose a path forward. In Houston, Pathways Memory Care decided to mandate vaccines for our associates and provide vaccination clinics for our residents. Before resuming visitation, we took this step to provide peace of mind to our residents, their families, and our team.

Many loved ones entered Alzheimer’s or dementia care during the COVID-19 pandemic or have not been able to see friends or family in over a year. Establishing a visitation routine, pandemic or not, can be difficult, but we hope this guide gives you the confidence to enjoy time with your loved ones again.

Do people with Alzheimer’s enjoy family visits?

It may take practice and work from both sides, but yes. Putting thought into your visit can create positive impacts for you and your loved one. Everyone is different, and you may find that your loved one may just enjoy your presence over the conversation.

How do I prepare for a visit with an older adult with Alzheimer’s or dementia?

TimeTake into consideration the needs of the resident you’ll be visiting. Try not to interfere with their routine or activity schedule. Don’t come at a time when they’ll be too tired.
Length of stayVisits should not be very long, and it’s better to make a couple of short visits than one long one every week.
Bringing guestsOne or two people per visit is usually a good idea to prevent overstimulation. Pre-plan conversation topics and get on the same page with anyone who may be joining.

How are visits different during the pandemic?

While we are all very excited to see our loved ones again, memory care communities are a vulnerable population, so face coverings and social distancing are still best practices.

Pathways Memory Care | Daughter visiting senior mother
Ocskay Mark – stock.adobe.com

If you have yet to get vaccinated, consider getting tested before visiting our community. We provide screening for all team members, vendors, and visitors upon entrance. Find a vaccine clinic near you.

Are Houston memory care communities vaccinated?

Pathways Memory Care made a commitment to a 100 percent vaccination rate for our residents and associates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chart shows the positive impacts vaccinations have had on seniors living in Texas. As of June 2021, we’re at the lowest infection rate since the pandemic began.

What are some tips for effective visits with Alzheimer’s and dementia residents?

Communication
  • Talk clearly but not too loudly and maintain eye contact.
  • Reintroduce yourself, “Hi grandma, I’m Shannon, your granddaughter.”
  • Follow their lead, let them express their thoughts and feelings.
Gifts
Don’ts
  • To prevent stress or embarrassment, avoid the phrase, “Do you remember?”
  • Don’t argue. If your loved one says something wrong, it’s better to let it go than to correct.
  • Don’t take negative things they say personally.
  • Don’t talk down to them or talk about them like they’re not in front of you.

What should I talk about with my loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia?

Reminiscing therapy is an effective way to trigger memories of the past to reduce stress and boost mood. DailyCaring.com shares these tips:

  • Play their favorite music.
  • Bring a photo album.
  • Scent and taste are potent tools to bring back memories.
  • We provide daily tactile activities, but consider bringing some sort of art or craft you know they enjoyed in the past.

How can I visit my loved one at Pathways Memory Care?

Give us a call at (281) 315-1450 to ask any questions about visitations or set up an appointment with your loved one today.

Do you know someone who could benefit from memory care? Contact us to learn more about our services for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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