Written on: October 1, 2020
If we think we have been isolated from life during this pandemic, imagine how that must feel for our loved ones with dementia.
Some visiting is being allowed again but there are a few things to keep in mind. If you have been a regular visitor to someone, whether at home or in a facility, be mindful that you may not be remembered in the same way now, so ease into the visit. The person you are visiting may be uncomfortable with the presence of “outsiders” after such a long period of isolation.
Most visits do not allow touching, or items brought in from outside. For some, these are key ways to communicate with those who suffer from dementia and can make connecting difficult. Still, this gradual re-orientation to the world can be vital.
Try using music as a way to connect. Bring something to play music (i.e. your phone), or sing. Sharing a familiar song can ease anxiety and create an experience that both of you will enjoy.
Above all, be grateful that your loved one has been cared for and survived this ordeal.
Maryellen Glackin is Director of Social Media Communications for the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart. She has been walking the mystery of dementia with her mom for over two decades. The experience has been at times sad, funny and humbling. The pandemic shut-down has been just one more learning experience!