Tips for Convincing the Person with Dementia to Attend - Part 2:
Take one step at a time. The purpose of the first, short visit is simply to have the person agree to go for a day. Don’t push too hard. The “just-try-it-and-see” approach works better.
Be firm. At first the person may enjoy going but then later complain of being unhappy. Don’t argue. The next day they are scheduled to attend, try saying, “They are expecting you today” or “I just want you to go for a little while” or “Let’s talk about that later.”
Get the right person to take him or her. At least for the first few times, choose someone who can usually get the person to do things.
Start with a few, short days. Two visits a week is minimum for someone with memory loss. Short days are less taxing for newcomers. When the routine becomes comfortable, you can add hours and days. It usually takes a new person several weeks to adjust, so be patient with the process.
Reinforce the positive. Support any positive experience that your family member has or that you or someone on staff notices.
Try again later. Sometimes a person frets so much that it becomes counterproductive for them to keep attending. Trying to reintroduce the center’s activities again after a few months break often proves successful.