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How to Visit with a Dementia Patient

When you have a loved one with dementia, making the time you spend with them count is essential. If you aren’t sure how to make a visit a good experience for you and your loved one, we’re here to help. Learn how to visit with a dementia patient, and you’ll treasure the time you spend together.

How to Visit with a Dementia Patient

If you have a loved one who has recently moved into a memory care community or other assisted living situation for people with age-related memory issues, being able to visit with them is very important. Visits from loved ones are an essential source of comfort and support for them, and it’s also crucial for you to see that your loved one is happy and cared for. If you’ve never visited someone with dementia, you may wonder how to make it a good experience. Luckily, making a plan for how to visit with a dementia patient is easy to do when you lead with empathy and love.

Plan Your Visit Strategically

It’s helpful to do some planning beforehand to make sure the conditions for a visit will be as good as possible. Plan on visiting in the morning or early afternoon, as that’s often the best time of day for dementia patients. You can also plan a simple activity to spark joy, such as looking at old photographs or watching a show together. Keep your visits short, ensuring your loved one does not get tired or overwhelmed. Keep an eye on the community activity calendar so you can be present for holidays and other special events.

Take Their Lead on Communication

When you visit someone with dementia, you may feel anxious about communicating with them. If you do, it’s important to remember that your loved one will appreciate quality time with you no matter what you talk about. Remind your loved one who you are and why you’re visiting them, and hold space for them to talk about their life and ask any questions they may have. Listen actively, and focus on validating their emotions and experiences. If they don’t feel talkative, comfortably sharing silence with a loved one can still be a meaningful experience for those with dementia.

See What They’re Up For

It might feel like you’re doing your loved one a favor by deciding what you will do together every time you visit. However, people with dementia benefit from being able to make choices about their daily life, and providing options for someone is a great way to show them respect and care. When you visit, ask what they’d like to do, and feel free to offer a few simple yes-or-no options. That will let them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed by choice.

Focus on Enjoying Your Time Together

No matter how you spend time with a loved one who has dementia, you’ll both benefit most if you look for joy in every moment. Share funny memories, try activities you both like, and be sure to reinforce how much you enjoy your visits with your loved one. If you’re focused on enjoying each other’s company, you can create memories you’ll treasure.


Learning how to visit with a dementia patient may take time, love, and practice. If you need more support in caring for a loved one with dementia, contact our memory care team.

Are you seeking an assisted livingmemory support, or physician-directed nursing community in Kansas City? Check out The Piper. Our team of experienced and compassionate professionals ensures that “residents feel secure” and comfortable immediately. At our warm and welcoming community, which is truly a “home within a home,” we foster social interaction, engagement, and the right amount of care. Our residents always come first. To learn more about our services or schedule a tour, please give us a call at 913-361-5136 or contact us online.