Bringing Joy to a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

Many people struggle with visiting loved ones who have Alzheimer’s. When a person has Alzheimer’s, they lose much of their ability to recall events and sadly, sometimes even people. If you are a caregiver for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, you might feel stressed or upset. At Prestige Home Care Agency of Philadelphia, we help families work to make caregiving a more enjoyable experience. We can also help you bring joy to the life of a person who has Alzheimer’s.

Visiting a loved one who has Alzheimer’s can be enjoyable if you have a few ideas about how to alleviate the anxiety and make it a positive experience. Think about how you might go about visiting someone who has an injury or another kind of illness. You would likely want to make the person feel loved and cared for, even if he wasn’t feeling like his usual self. The same approach should be given when visiting a person who has Alzheimer’s.

Try to focus on bringing joy and love to your visit. The purpose of your visit is to honor and support someone who you care about, and by focusing on the feeling of happiness, you can make an effort to bring happiness by first calming yourself before your visit. Simple steps, like taking deep breaths before entering the room, can go a long way to helping your visit go well.

Work on conveying a sense of peacefulness. Even if your loved one is not acting the way that he used to, there is still space for having a pleasant visit. Try not to have any expectations and simply let your visit unfold as naturally as possible. Try to sit close to your friend, as opposed to across the room.

Look for clues to how your loved one feels, such as body language and phrases. Silence is fine. Maybe listening to some music or watching the birds is an activity that can be shared together. Reminisce about your favorite holidays and if you can, bring some photos or videos to share that might brighten your loved one’s spirits.

When visiting, try not to stare out the window or spend too much time on your phone. Don’t give unneeded advice and don’t unload your own problems on the person you are visiting. Try not to change the subject when the person you are visiting expresses sad or negative feelings. Your time with a loved one is a gift. Try to let the visit unfold as naturally as possible.