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How Often Should You Visit a Parent in Memory Care

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A middle-aged man giving a bouquet of flowers to his older adult mother during his visit.

Entering the realm of memory care can be a profound transition for both individuals experiencing memory loss and their families. A common question arises: “How often should I visit my family member in memory care?” 

Deciding how often to visit a parent in memory care is a deeply personal matter that varies significantly from one family to another. 

There are several factors to consider, which can help guide you toward establishing a visitation schedule that benefits both you and your loved one, including:

  • Recognizing their unique requirements
  • Using technology to maintain the connection between visits
  • Prioritize the quality of visits above their frequency
  • Establish realistic expectations
  • Take into account external factors
  • Stay adaptable to shifts in their situation
  • Upholding their autonomy

The Lodge at Historic Lewes takes pride in housing the Compass Memory Care community, where our guiding principle is that everyone is entitled to personalized care, the freedom to make their own decisions, and the right to be listened to. 

What Is Memory Care?

Memory care is a community meticulously designed for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. These communities aim to minimize confusion and prioritize the safety of residents, providing an ideal space for those needing a more specialized level of care. 

By integrating specialized programs, cognitive therapies, and stimulating activities, the goal is to enhance memory and cognitive functions, promoting mental sharpness and decelerating the progression of memory decline.

Staff members in memory care undergo comprehensive training in dementia care, equipping them with the skills to handle behavioral challenges, communicate effectively with residents experiencing cognitive decline, and maintain a supportive and safe environment.

Understand Individual Needs

Every individual’s pathway through memory loss differs significantly, shaped by factors such as their cognitive state, emotional health, and personal likes or dislikes. This diversity means that the approach to visiting and interacting with your loved one in memory care should be personalized to suit their unique needs and situation.

To tailor your visits effectively, it’s beneficial to actively engage with the staff at the memory care community. These professionals observe your family member’s day-to-day activities, behaviors, and responses to various stimuli, including visits from family and friends. By communicating regularly with the care team, you can gather valuable insights into your loved one’s condition, preferences, and how they are adjusting to their environment. This information is critical in determining when to visit and how to make each interaction as meaningful and comforting as possible.

Respect Their Need for Routine

Memory care environments often emphasize structured schedules to create a sense of security for residents. Balance your visits with the understanding that too much variation can be unsettling for some individuals with memory loss.

Use Technology 

Technology provides numerous alternatives for maintaining connections when in-person visits are difficult. Video chats, telephone conversations, messaging, and emails are all effective means of keeping in touch with a family member in memory care when visiting them in person isn’t feasible.

An older adult man talking to his family via video call.

Quality Over Quantity

The quality of your visits is probably the most important thing. Make each visit count by engaging in activities that resonate with your loved one’s current abilities and interests. Listening to music together, looking through photo albums, or simply sitting in their presence can be deeply comforting.

Set Realistic Expectations

Living in a memory care community is quite different from living at home, and it can present some challenges for individuals as they adjust to new routines and environments. Initially, more frequent visits might be helpful to ease the adjustment period. However, it’s important to gauge how these visits affect their sense of stability and adapt accordingly.

Consider External Factors

Your own life circumstances, including the distance to the memory care community, work commitments, and family responsibilities, will influence how often you can visit. Strive for a realistic and manageable routine that respects both your needs and those of your loved one.

Adapt to Changing Circumstances

The progression of memory loss means that your loved one’s needs and preferences may evolve. Stay in close communication with care providers to understand these changes and adjust your visitation schedule as needed.

Uphold Their Autonomy

A key objective of memory care is to encourage autonomy alongside offering the essential support needed. Finding the right equilibrium between providing help and honoring your family member’s independence is vital. Frequent visits should strengthen their sense of belonging and connectedness without diminishing their self-reliance.

Achieving the Right Visitation Frequency in Memory Care

Determining the ideal frequency of visits to a loved one in memory care does not follow a universal rule. It’s important to find a balance that honors their autonomy, addresses their specific needs, and considers logistical aspects.

Consistent, meaningful visits play a crucial role in creating a nurturing atmosphere and enhancing the connection and overall well-being of family members.

At The Lodge at Historic Lewes, we are dedicated to offering top-notch care for your loved one. Schedule a visit today to discover how we can assist your family with our supportive community.

Written by The Lodge at Historic Lewes

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