Visiting Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease: Tips for Caregivers to Share

It’s not always easy for family members to visit a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease. It can be difficult to communicate, or it may make them feel sad knowing that the senior has lost so many important memories. It may even be a little scary if they aren’t sure how the older adult will act.

Senior Care Rochester NY - Visiting Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease: Tips for Caregivers to Share

Senior Care Rochester NY – Visiting Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease: Tips for Caregivers to Share

Caregivers who spend time with the senior regularly may not understand why others back away, or they may be uncertain how to help visitors feel more comfortable. Sometimes all that is needed is to offer visitors some suggestions for how to interact with the older adult.

Below are some tips that caregivers can share to encourage others to pay seniors with Alzheimer’s disease a visit.

Introduce Yourself

Ask visitors to introduce themselves when they arrive. That can seem awkward if they’ve known the senior for a long time. However, because Alzheimer’s affects memory, the older adult may not remember who they are or what their name is. The reminder of a name and relationship can help them to remember. If the visitor is reluctant to introduce themselves, caregivers can take care of this step just by saying, “Look who has come to visit! It’s your friend Bob.”

Bring Objects to Encourage Engagement

Spontaneous conversations can be hard for Alzheimer’s patients to enter into. Having objects that serve as conversation starters can help. Caregivers can invite visitors to bring pictures or objects along to talk about. If the visitor and the older adult have a shared interest, like a hobby, the visitor might bring the latest piece in their collection or something they’ve made. Photos are also excellent ways to get a conversation going, especially if they are old ones the senior can reminisce about.

Don’t Argue

Remind visitors that people with Alzheimer’s disease perceive the world in a different way. They may get things wrong or tell stories that aren’t true. It’s not productive to argue with the older adult. It will only upset them. If the conversation takes a strange turn or start to get heated, the best thing to do is distract them and redirect their attention to a new topic.

Speak in Simple Terms

Communicating with someone who has Alzheimer’s disease is a little different than talking to others. They may not understand complex ideas and sentences. Visitors should use short sentences and simple questions. Avoid open-ended questions that may be confusing.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Rochester NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.

John Hunt