It is quite normal for you to feel sad, guilty, anxious, and a bit relief once you dropped off your loved one at a memory care community. But if you decide to visit your loved one, it will be a bit different because he will not have all day to be with you. Also, you won't be his 24/7 caregiver anymore.
Tips For Visiting Your Loved One
Know the best time for you to visit – There are certain times of the day when your loved one is more upset, confused and anxious. Oftentimes, he may be more confused later in the day – and this is called “sundowning” behaviour. As much as you possibly can, you must visit him before he sits down for dinner.
Say goodbye – This is very important since it can be heart wrenching to watch the spouse of a resident struggle with this. Be aware that most residents don't realize that they are living apart from their spouse or loved ones or they are already residing in memory care. You must let him embrace the reality by letting him know that you are leaving already. Also, make sure to tell him that you are going to see him again soon.
Know the other residents as well – Your loved one will definitely make friends while inside the memory care. Though he may be suffering from a short-term memory loss, he will still make meaningful connections with other people. Aside from this, bear in mind also that your loved one might not get along with everyone in his community. Always remember not to get into an argument with someone you do not know, most especially with someone suffering from impaired memory.
Mingle with the staff – You must know the staff, most especially the activity or program coordinator. Also, get to know the hands-on caregivers. After all, they will be the one how will take care of your loved one. It is indeed very crucial for you to meet the person who will run the activities of your beloved each day. If this caregiver knows what he loves to enjoy, meaningful activities and interaction will be implemented.
Surprise him – If you have something to talk about your loved one, your visit definitely will go smoothly. It is very important for you to have a great conversation topic so you can be able to engage him in a very meaningful way.
Aside from these, you can also try planning a day trip. Let him experience the life outside the memory care community.