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King Farm Blog

IKF Blog
Posted: Friday, March 5, 2021

Share These Tips with Family and Friends for a Positive Visit with a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

Our older loved ones may enjoy having guests over for a visit, but when Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other cognitive impairment is a factor it may make things difficult. However, it’s not impossible to have a positive experience during these visits — all it takes is some preparation ahead of time by getting to know a few dos and don’ts. Understanding more about our loved one’s condition and creating great memories may encourage the family to visit more. Here, we share a few ideas to encourage family and friends to see a loved one with Alzheimer’s. 

Tips for planning a visit 

  • Schedule your visits when your loved one is feeling their best. 

  • Turn off the TV and any loud music to minimize distractions. Keep the environment quiet and calm and ask non-visitors to transfer to another room. 

  • Limit the visitors to only 1 or 2 guests since too many people may become overwhelming.

  • Send this list to other visitors to make sure they absorb this information.

The fundamental dos and don’ts for the visit


  • Keep your body language and tone positive and friendly.

  • Avoid speaking too loudly.

  • Stay within their eye level and make eye contact. 

  • Be sure to introduce yourself even if they should know you. 

  • Give them time to speak. 

  • Take time to sit together, even in silence. Older adults may enjoy this too. 

  • Ask open-ended questions and remember that there is no right or wrong answer. 

  • Use short sentences and speak slowly. Some examples are: “Hi, Alice. I’m Judy, your friend.” or “What a great day. It’s nice outside, isn’t it?” or “How have you been?”

  • Follow their lead and don’t force activities or conversations on them. 

  • Let them express fear, anger, or sadness, and validate those feelings. 

  • Discuss and share memories from the past — it’s likely they’ll remember things from years ago. 

  • Come prepared with something to do, such as a photo album to go through, a playlist with their favorite music, or a book to read to them. 

  • Play along with them, even if they start talking about things that don’t make sense or things that aren’t true. 

  • Give him or her a gentle touch, a hug, or massage their arm or shoulder, if your loved one allows it. 


  • Argue, because this may cause them embarrassment or anger.

  • Assume they can’t remember anything. Some older adults can clearly remember a few moments and even full memories. 

  • Say things like “do you remember?”

  • Rush the conversation. 

  • Point out their mistakes. This will only make them feel bad. 

  • Take anything personally. They may say things out of fear, anger, or confusion, but it’s not their fault. 

  • Talk down to them. They need to be shown the proper respect and shouldn’t be treated like a child. 

  • Pretend like they’re not there and talk to other people about them. 

Visiting a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be a challenging task to face, especially if you’ve had a prior negative experience. But with the right attitude and a strategy in place to work towards creating a pleasant environment for your loved ones, you may just be able to take home a new wonderful memory. For more details on how to find the best care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or cognitive impairment, visit our guide, Just the Facts: A Guide to Memory Care. 

Call (240) 414-8557 if you have any questions or schedule a personalized tour today.

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