Five Tips to Talk with Someone with Dementia

In working with families who have loved ones living at The Palace Gardens memory care neighborhood, we often recommend some tips families find helpful when they visit. We understand how difficult it may be for some families to see their loved one with dementia, but visiting is encouraged at The Palace Gardens.

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The community plans many activities each month known as “family and friends events” for families to enjoy together and these are geared for all ages. The Palace Gardens team works hard creating a family environment where everyone feels comfortable.

Here are five tips that are useful conversation starters:

• Remember when?
Rather than quiz someone with questions, it is helpful to say you were thinking about something like a family event and mention some details you remember. This may help the person recall the event and gets a conversation going. Maybe it was a family vacation or a birthday party and a funny anecdote that occurred.

• Address book, Church director, school yearbook
Find their old address book, Rolodex, church directory or something that has names in it. These names may trigger various memories for your loved one about people that they’ll enjoy talking about.

• Photo Albums or pictures
Bring family pictures that you can go through together. You may be surprised at their memory for names and details of older photos.

• Recipe box or recipe book
Find your mother’s older, often used recipes and bring them along. These are a good conversation starter. They help reminisce about when she enjoyed cooking as well as which ones the family didn’t like. If the community doesn’t mind, you may want to make one of her favorite recipes and bring it along for her to enjoy.

• Read together
Bring your loved one’s favorite classic book or a book on faith that is meaningful. Read through familiar passages together. Many people particularly enjoy reading from the Bible and hearing their favorite Psalms read aloud.

Our door is always open for our families and we’re happy to brainstorm with them ways of making visiting easier. To learn more about The Palace Gardens Homestead and the community’s specialized care for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, please call Elizabeth Martinez at 305-247-0446.