I am an occupational therapist, specializing in developmental disabilities. I had never planned to work in the area of geriatrics. However, when my mother developed Alzheimer’s disease, I was thrust into the world of home care, Medicare, assisted living and nursing homes. Fortunately, as an occupational therapist, I had years of experience adapting environments and creating activities to promote functional skills and quality of life. I wrote Still Giving Kisses: A Guide to Enjoying and Helping the Alzheimer's Victim You Loveto share how I helped my mother enjoy her life as best as possible, as she regressed through the stages.
I could not help but notice that many residents in my mom’s assisted living and later her nursing home had few visitors. I believe that common reasons include
Friends and loved ones are scared and confused about the person’s decline
Friends and family do not know how to relate to a person who may no longer speak or seem to recognize them.
And most sadly, friends and family think that the person has so little awareness that the visitor's presence is of no value.