Why Visiting Your Elderly Loved One is Important
Life doesn’t slow down for anybody these days. More and more tasks will be added to your to-do list that all need to be done right away. To top it all off, your loved one has been moved to an assisted living home and you haven’t been able to make time to go and see him/her. It is very common for family members to feel a sense of relief when their loved one decides to move into an assisted living home. With trained nurses around every corner, it is nice knowing your loved one is in a safe environment. Regardless of where your loved one lives, it is a good idea to carve out time in your busy schedule to make a home visit.
Keep an Eye on Their Health
It is hard to know how your loved one is doing if you are not able to visit in person. Phone calls are a great way of communicating, but visiting will help provide a more accurate update on your loved one’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Establish and maintain a trusting relationship with your loved one so that he or she will feel safe talking to you about what goes on while you are not there. It is important to document any changes you notice and report them to your loved one’s doctor if you are concerned. If you are not sure what to look for, research the signs of elderly abuse and neglect. The more you are aware of what to look for, the safer your loved one will be in case of any sign of trouble.
Bring Back and/or Create Positive Memories
Were there traditions that your loved ones carried out while you were growing up? Recreating family dinners, game or movie nights, or holiday traditions could mean a lot to your elderly loved one. If you don’t have any family traditions, make some! Involve your loved one and ask them what kind of activities they would find special to participate in. Does your loved on have an interest that he/she enjoys such as cooking, puzzles, reading, crafts, sports, etc? Finding something that would be mutually enjoyable is a great place to start! If you are stuck, there are so many ideas out there on the web, or even talk to your friends and other family for advice. The possibilities are endless!
Keep Their Spirits Up
It is common for seniors to become recluse, withdrawn, and even depressed due to a lack of socialization. Visiting your loved one often will give them something to look forward too. However, you will not always be able to be there to monitor and keep tabs on them. So what do you do? Our advice is to make sure they have a phone that they can pick up and call whenever they need a pick-me-up. If your loved one lives in an assisted living facility, encourage them to participate in social functions that the staff host for all of the residents. This would give your loved one an excellent opportunity to make friends while doing something they love. Having positive outlets will help keep your loved one’s spirits up which will help them lead a happier and healthier life!
If you do not currently have the ability to visit, even a phone call letting them know how much you love them would make a positive difference in their life. It is important to remember that your loved one is adapting to a new place and your visits could make the transition smoother for both of you. If you have a busy schedule, set reminders for yourself on your phone or computer to call your loved one. You can also plan your visits ahead of time so that you know not to make any appointments that day.