Moving an aging loved one into an assisted living facility represents a huge life change for all those involved. While it will give you peace of mind to know that your loved ones will be safe and well cared for in their new home, they will undoubtedly go through an adjustment period. They will be meeting new people, adapting to a new routine and getting used to a new living space.
Even after your loved one is settled in their new environment, it’s important to remember that scheduling routine visits is vital. Staying social is one of the most important things seniors can do to improve their quality of life, and a simple visit from family members helps ward off that feeling of isolation some seniors suffer.
Benefits of Visiting Aging Loved Ones in Assisted Living Facilities
Visiting leads to a variety of benefits for emotional and physical health.
1) Let your loved ones know you care. This may seem obvious, and you may think your loved one already knows how much you care and love them. However, an in-person visit gives you a chance to be affectionate and serves as a reminder that you care about their well-being.
2) Allows you to check up on their health. As you spend time with your loved one, you’ll be able to evaluate their overall physical and emotional health. You can take note to see if anything about them has changed since your last visit- are they showing any signs of depression or memory loss? Are they maintaining a healthy diet and taking proper medications? You’ll be able to listen carefully to any complaints or problems your loved one might be having, so you can be sure to address your concerns with the staff at the assisted living facility.
3) Bring back and create positive memories. By sharing stories of the past and present with your aging loved ones, you’ll help improve their mood and get them to engage. You can bring in photo albums or videos, or favorite music to bring back those happy times. Also, by visiting regularly you’re giving your loved one something to look forward to and creating new memories for the future.
4) Keeps aging loved ones socially connected. As mentioned above, staying social is vital to improve a senior’s quality of life. Keeping socially active can be as beneficial as being physically active! A visit helps your loved one’s emotional and physical health and gives them a sense of belonging.
Visiting aging loved ones not only helps break up the monotony of their daily routines, but also keeps them feeling connected to the world around them. Make monthly, or weekly visits if possible, part of your own routine when your loved one has entered an assisted living facility. Be sure to spend quality time with them, listen to their concerns and be affectionate. Remember that your visit is a reminder of how much you care for them, especially when they have entered this new phase of life.