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August 11, 2012

A friend recently asked about what to do when visiting their loved one.  What do you talk about when there is no “real” conversation going back and forth?   When they don’t remember who anyone is,  that you are trying to talk about?

Sometimes we get stuck when it comes to visiting our loved ones who are no longer connected to our world.  We want them to talk and visit with us, like they used to.  Our problem is that they no longer interact in “our” world, and we are not sure how to “visit” their world.  Who says we have to talk?


  Be a kid, play Candy Land (good for counting, and color recognition) , card games, such as; Uno, Old Maid, Go Fish  (make up your own rules as you go along, in order to keep it easy for your loved one.  Rules are made to be broken!)  Just rolling the dice is fun, keeping a score is optional.  Picture dice such as Mickey Mouse is also fun.  If you can engage grandkids or great grands to play with grandma or grandpa, everyone is happy!   Older people LOVE, LOVE, LOVE having little ones around!!  And really, who is entertaining who?

One thing that I do, I learned from my middle daughter when she was the neighborhood babysitter.  She had a bag stashed with unique puzzles, books and toys that she took with her on babysitting jobs.  It was something new and different for the kids when she arrived, instead of playing with their own toys, they played with the babysitter’s fun toys.   I have a packed bag as well, it has a photo album, a couple of very simple puzzles, a coloring book, and a search and find picture book.  Mom does not care that the books may be Christmas themed, or she certainly doesn’t care that they came from the kid’s toy isle. It is something that I brought for us to do.  My bag also contains scissors, in case I can talk her into letting me cut her hair, I am prepared.  There are scented lotions, and maybe a cookie or a favorite  candy.

Any ordinary magazine can be a tool for counting or talking about colors.  We count how many different color splotches of nail polish are on a page.  We tell what color the shampoo bottles are, and whether or not that lady is wearing a pretty green dress or maybe it is an ugly purple one!!  How many puppies are in that dog food ad?  Sometimes we count her clothes hanging on the rod, we may only get to seven and then we start over, but that is OK.  We are exercising our brains.  We only do what she is in the mood to do for as long as she wants to do it. We are spending quality time together and making memories, more so for me, than for her, but hopefully she knows it is a special time for us. I have to believe that somewhere deep inside she knows!

Sometimes we just hold hands and I listen as she talks about her prom, and the BBQ, popcorn and ice cream that they had.  I agree with how nice the prom was, and how much fun we had dancing to the music.  I was at that prom too…………………

After all, I am “visiting” her world.


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