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Most Elders Enjoy Company in Their Home

We encourage family members and friends of our elders to visit often. Visiting is unrestricted, although you shouldn’t visit when you are sick. Diseases like influenza and even the common cold can have a critical impact at a long-term care center.

Public restrooms are on the first floor. Visitors should not use the restrooms in elders’ rooms.

Pet Visits

Visitors may bring pets to the Klein Center. All visiting pets must be clean, free of ticks and fleas, and up to date on vaccinations. Dogs should remain on leashes. Visitors are responsible for cleaning pet accidents.

Tips for Visiting Loved Ones with Dementia

Visiting a loved one who has dementia can be difficult for both of you. These tips are from Jolene Brackey, author of Creating Moments of Joy and a national speaker on dementia and Alzheimer’s topics.

  • Avoid saying, “Hi, mom (or dad).” This is difficult but strongly encouraged. As soon as you say it, a “wall” may go up because she is thinking, “You are too old to be my daughter.” She will be polite to you for about 10 minutes and then be ready for you to leave because she doesn’t know who you are. Address your mother by her first name.

  • Avoid saying things like, “Do you remember me?” It’s difficult for loved ones to be confronted with the fact that they don’t know you.

  • Ask questions about yourself: “Your daughter, Emily. Does she like playing the piano?” You may learn things about yourself.

  • Share events that are happening in your life. Instead of focusing on people and times, give positive information about the event. Avoid subjects that would make loved ones upset or sad.

  • Don’t rush your loved one. Allow enough time for responses to questions or directions. Keep statements simple and as short as possible.

  • Enjoy simple activities that focus on familiar events. For example, go for a walk, look at photo albums or sit in a quiet area.

  • If loved ones become anxious or upset, remain calm and help them move to a quiet place. Think about finding a quiet place before you begin visiting.

  • During the holidays, break up family traditions into smaller events. For example, visit in smaller groups, open presents one night, eat the Christmas meal on another, make going to church an event in itself.

  • Saying goodbye: Give loved ones a universal reason for leaving them. One answer might be, “I need to go to the dentist. No fun! I’ll be back again soon.” This is a place where they won’t want to go with you. Give a reason for leaving that will make them feel secure with your departure and always reassure them that you will return.

  • Continue talking to loved ones even if they don’t respond. Continue visiting even if they don’t recognize you. You may miss a special moment if you stop visiting.

  • Enjoy your visit. If you are having a good time, so will the people you love.