How Long Should You Wait Before Visiting Your Loved One in Memory Care?

A senior woman smiling and talking to her daughter

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There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to how long it takes an older adult to settle into a new community. So, you should wait as long as it takes your loved one to acclimate to their new surroundings before visiting them in memory care. This could range from a few days to a few weeks. But it’s important to remember that each individual is different, and your loved one may benefit from more frequent visits, even before they’re settled in.

This is a situation where good and open communication with your loved one’s caregivers in their new home should be involved. They may be able to recommend a good frequency based on the particular circumstances.

What Is Memory Care?

A memory care community is a residential home designed specifically for individuals experiencing memory-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other forms of cognitive decline. Memory care communities are often equipped with specialized programs, safety-focused building design, and specially trained staff to help residents with their daily routines, personal hygiene, and medical needs.

How Long Should You Wait Before Visiting Your Loved One in Memory Care?

There isn’t a one-size answer to this question because we’re all very different people with varying needs and personalities. Waiting until your loved one is settled and adjusted, which could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, is a good idea in many cases. Although, there may be circumstances where more frequent visits could be beneficial for an older adult in memory care.

Considerations Before & During Your Visit

There are a few things to consider when deciding how long you will wait before visiting your loved one in memory care.

Contact the Community

You should contact the community and your loved one’s caregivers before visiting your loved one in memory care. They can offer you suggestions on when to visit. Some communities may require you to schedule your visit in advance and may limit the duration and number of visitors.

Consider the Impact

Visiting your loved one in memory care can have a significant impact on their emotional well-being. According to studies, visits can improve mood, decrease agitation, and decrease aggression because of socialization. There could be a reason to delay visits for health concerns, but one should consider the positive impact a visit can have too.

Consider Your Health

Senior communities of all sorts are potentially filled with residents who could be immune compromised. So, you should ensure you’re healthy and have taken adequate precautions before visiting your loved one.

Aftercare Is Significant

Seeing your loved one in a potentially vulnerable state could have its own toll on your emotions and mental health. Take care of yourself by talking to supportive family members or seeking emotional comfort. You may want to seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed by the visit.

For your loved one, leave them with a pleasant memory by making plans for your next visit, letting them know that you care and love them.

Tips for Visiting a Loved One with Dementia

The following are a few tips to help you make the most out of your next visit with your loved one in their new home.

Create a Memory Box

One way to help bring your loved one comfort during your visits is to create a memory box filled with items that remind them of happy memories from their life. This could include old photos, meaningful trinkets, or letters from family and friends. The act of looking through the box can help evoke special memories and trigger conversations between you and your loved one.

Focus on the Present Moment

Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, try to stay focused on the present moment during your visits. This can mean engaging in activities such as reading, drawing and coloring, or simply talking about topics that are relevant to the moment you are in.

Use Memory Prompts

It can be helpful to use memory prompts to help them recall important events or people from their past in situations where your loved one is having trouble remembering or communicating. This could include photographs, music, or other items that are meaningful to them. You can help your loved one feel more connected to their past and provide a sense of comfort and familiarity by using these prompts.

Embrace Silence & Listen Carefully

Sometimes, it can be challenging to know what to say or do during your visits. It’s important to embrace periods of silence and listen carefully to your loved one’s nonverbal cues. By doing this, you can help create a comfortable atmosphere where your loved one feels safe and understood. You may also find that silence creates moments of stillness where you can connect with your loved one and simply be present with them.

A group of seniors sitting in a semicircle in a common area, drinking tea or coffee and laughing

Plan for Connection At Juniper Village

The decision to move to a personal care home or memory care community is a big step for any family. The ability to maintain a close relationship with your older loved one should be a high priority.
Contact us today at Juniper Village at Buck Country if you and your loved one are considering communities in Bensalem. We offer various levels of care to ensure your loved one gets the support they need, and we’re happy to book you a community tour.

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