Seniors with Alzheimer's Disease are beginning to enjoy a better quality of life than ever before, and they look forward to spending time with their loved ones who visit their residence. However, kids can sometimes be a little nervous about visiting their grandparent in memory care, especially if it has been awhile since they last visited together. Use these tips to set up a visit that gives everyone an opportunity to bond.
Prepare the Kids Beforehand
The symptoms that accompany Alzheimer's Disease can sometimes be confusing for children. Give your children an age-appropriate lesson about what to expect during their visit. For instance, a preschooler may simply need to know that their grandparent still loves them even if changes in their brain makes it harder for them to remember their name. Older children and teenagers can learn about the different stages of Alzheimer's Disease, along with where their grandparent is at in the progression of the disease. As you talk, make sure to encourage your children to ask questions so that you can address any of their concerns.
Plan the Timing Wisely
People living with Alzheimer's Disease sometimes have better times of the day than others. For instance, many older adults with dementia may experience sundowning when their behavior becomes more agitated. Call the staff at your loved one's Alzheimer's care home, such as Wellspring Meadows Assisted Living, to find out when they are at their best, such as after they eat breakfast or have finished a special activity.This way, you can plan your visit for when your parent will be the most receptive to spending time with the kids.
Bring a Few Activities
Your kids may love their grandparent, but it is sometimes hard to bridge the generation gap. Bring along a few activities that can serve as icebreakers during the visit. Your parent's caregivers can likely give you a few suggestions regarding their favorite activities. However, many seniors with Alzheimer's enjoy listening to quiet music or browsing through photographs. Consider having your kids bring a few pictures of their accomplishments, such as winning a sports competition or making a beautiful drawing that they can show to their grandparent.
The connection between a grandparent and their grandchildren is always beautiful, even when a senior's memories begin to fade. By taking the time to carefully plan your visit, you can enjoy watching as your kids get to know their grandparent better while fostering a greater sense of what it means to be a family.