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How Loved Ones With Alzheimer's Benefit From Our Visits

Written by Alissa Sauer
 about the author
1 minute readLast updated April 21, 2023

Caring for or visiting with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia can be emotionally and physically draining. However, visits with family and friends can have significant benefits and lead to positive emotional memories. Continuing to remain in contact with your loved one and spending time with them as their disease progresses can improve their quality of life and may even slow the progress of cognitive decline. Learn more about how your relative can benefit from visits.

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Visiting a loved one with Alzheimer's disease

A survey conducted by the Alzheimer’s Society found that 42% of the public think it’s pointless to stay in contact with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease after they are unable to recognize the faces of family and friends. Alzheimer’s advocates and researchers caution against this line of thinking, saying that even as the disease progresses, people with advanced dementia can still hold an emotional memory, meaning that they remember how something made them feel long after they have forgotten the event that brought those feelings.
After the celebration of the holidays and more time spent with family, people with Alzheimer’s can feel especially lonely in the beginning months of the new year. However, spending time with a senior loved one who has Alzheimer’s is important, even as the disease progresses.

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According to the study, meaningful interactions can have a powerful positive impact on seniors with dementia, even if they don’t remember the event itself. When people continue to communicate with loved ones with dementia and stay connected, the positive emotions follow.
Another survey found that more than 50% of people with Alzheimer’s were not participating in social activities and 64% said they felt isolated after receiving their diagnosis.

5 Ways that senior loved ones benefit from family visits

Research shows that even though a person with Alzheimer’s may no longer recognize a loved one, their time together has a lasting, positive impact.
Here are five reasons to continue visiting your parent or senior loved one with Alzheimer’s, even after the disease has progressed to its later stages:

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  1. Even if they are unable to remember your relationship, they may remember how often you visit.
  2. Opportunities to socialize can put your loved one in a better mood and help them relax.
  3. People with Alzheimer’s still have emotional memory, remembering how an event has made them feel after forgetting the details of the event.
  4. They may enjoy visits even if they cannot remember your name or your relationship with them.
  5. They may recognize you even if they can not express it.


Meet the Author
Alissa Sauer

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom (of which OurParents is a trademark) and the reader.  Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site.  Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.