Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can turn any social butterfly into someone who doesn’t want to socialize. Older adults who have dementia might not want to leave the house or resist having people over to visit. Loneliness and social isolation can have a negative impact on the brain. So, it is key for family and friends to encourage loved ones with dementia to socialize. Being around people can improve their symptoms. Read on to learn how to encourage social interaction in older adults with dementia.
Social Interaction in the Elderly
Just like everything else, planning and understanding are important. Make use of the following tips to make socializing easier and more beneficial for your loved ones.
- Living As Normally As Possible
Living as normally as they can is important for people who have dementia. Keeping up an active social life, going for things such as lunch dates or game nights, is a good idea. Do this until your loved one is no longer able to.
- Take Note of the Right Timing
Plan social visits when your loved one feels their best. A common phenomenon that happens in people with dementia is late-day confusion. If your loved one experiences sundowning, do not have visitors come over late in the day.
- Be in the Right Place
Busy settings that are full of people and noise are stressful for those with dementia. Visits should take place in environments that are quiet, calm, and uncluttered.
- Be Prepared
Make sure that your family and friends have appropriate expectations. Explain what the disease entails and what changes they should expect. You can prepare an activity to be shared by everyone during the visit such as singing a song together. You can also take a walk or look through old photos together. This can give your loved one something fun to focus on. Let your loved ones know who is coming to visit by showing them pictures so they can be mentally prepared.
- Say Thank You
Remind the visitors that they are vital to your loved one, even when the symptoms of dementia make the interactions difficult. Having people take time to visit is always greatly appreciated.
- Play Games
There are many fun and accessible games for people who have dementia. Board games are encouraged for people with dementia as studies show that they can help with symptoms such as memory loss and depression. You can search for various games to see which are best for someone who has dementia. Playing games is mentally stimulating and is great for older adults with dementia.
Memory Care Program in Lakeside At Mallard Landing
Lakeside At Mallard Landing is a charming retirement community that offers the best combination of personalized care and an engaging lifestyle. We offer 4 different senior living options, including the SHINE® Memory Care program which will help your loved ones with dementia to live a fulfilling life as much as possible. Feel free to contact us to find out more.