Have you recently moved your father to a facility for people with Alzheimer’s? Are you having second thoughts about visiting because you’re not sure what to do or say?
According to the American Psychological Association, one in eight older Americans suffers from Alzheimer’s. While you know your father may hardly understand or even remember you, you’d like the visit to be enjoyable and meaningful to you both. Here’s what you can do:
- Remember that you are a direct and crucial link to your father’s identity as a human being with spiritual, emotional, and social concerns. Keep in mind that there’s more to him than his memories and his ability to perform certain things.
- Keep your visits simple. Avoid overwhelming your father with plenty of activities or too many people. Tap into your father’s remaining strength to spark his individuality and try to create joyful moments.
- Find a comfortable and quiet location for the visit. Limit excess noise and distractions. Many Alzheimer’s community facilities in Utah have quiet spots, chapels, porches, and special guest rooms.
- Remember that Alzheimer’s can progress without warning, and your last visit may be different than the next. Manage your expectations. Legacy Retirement says there are registered nurses around. Get help, if necessary.
- Be more flexible. You may need to do new activities every time you visit, because what your father enjoyed last time may not pique his interest another time. Use available items in the facility such as music, books, or games, and ask your father to point out what looks interesting to him.
- Remember not to take it personally if your father seems upset or angry with you during your visits. When your father reacts unpleasantly, he may be attempting to communicate something he can’t express.
During your visits, keep in mind that your father will respond differently to things. This is a normal part of the disease’s progression. It’s not about what you did or said. Get help from the caregivers at the facility to help you out during your visits.