Do you need to connect with your father this weekend? You still can when they have dementia.
Alzheimer’s, or another form of dementia, does not need to signal the end of your relationship. You can still find ways to connect with your father.
As you celebrate Father’s Day, here are some tips:
Talk less, do more: A prolonged conversation may just confuse your father. He may feel frustrated because he cannot hold his end of the dialogue. Try to engage him in activities instead. Ensure that your father in genuinely interested. If he is having difficulty understanding the activity, demonstrate how to do it or simplify the activity.
Enter his world. Choose the time when he feels best: Someone living with dementia lives in a small world. They find comfort in routine. They usually perform best during certain parts of the day. Plan to spend time with your father during his best moments.
Choose a comfortable environment: After you find the right activity and meet at the appropriate time, ensure that you are also in a comfortable environment. Do not let loud noises, bright lights, or other distractions divert attention away from your time together.
Put your agenda away, just enjoy the moments together: After carefully planning your day, do not be upset if it does not work out as planned! Sometimes your father might act in an unexpected way. Enter his world and try to make the best of that situation. Do not underestimate the importance of a hug, sharing a meal, or a walk around the park.
We use Teepa Snow’s positive physical approach™ to connect before providing care to our clients. As dementia progresses, it is important to focus on what an individual can still do, instead of focusing on what they cannot. Enjoy Father’s Day!