Visiting Loved Ones In Assisted Living – The Complete Guide

This guide will help you understand the right timings to visit, proper care to be taken for Covid-19, and the activities that you can partake in a while visiting loved ones in assisted living.

People with dementia are at higher risk of accidents and injuries. Memory loss can make you or your loved one unable to function normally, such as taking medicines and decreasing thinking ability. 

Your loved ones will need assistance to help them in their everyday task and give you the proper care that they need. Generally, healthcare providers advise people with dementia to move to a nursing home or assisted living.

Visiting Loved Ones In Assisted Living - The Complete Guide

When your loved ones move to their new home, you should visit your loved one. Visiting may be stressful for them initially, but over time it will help them settle in and accept their new surroundings. 

However, follow some precautions when you see your family. Staff at the Memory care center advise people to visit for a limited time, so the person who moved in can adjust to their new home. In this guide, you can learn new tips on visiting your loved ones in assisted living.

Tips For Visiting Your Parent Or Loved One In A Nursing Home

Plan your visit in advance

When your loved one lives at a long-term care facility, you should visit them often. Healthcare providers advise you to see your parents or loved ones to help them lead healthier and happier lives. 

Plan your visit as staying at the right time when your loved one is in a good mood. Many nursing home residents have the most energy in the morning or before noon. Call the nursing home before your visitation and ask that you choose the right time for visiting your loved one.

Don’t just visit but be present for them.

Caregivers advise visitors to slow their pace so that their visits are more enjoyable and help both people talk about things in detail. 

Memory care staff advise paying attention to your nonverbal communication. You should avoid checking your phone every five minutes and fidgeting with your keys. 

You should turn off all your electronics, make time from your work, and focus on your visit. Make all your best effort at being present on the day of your visit.

Remember the reason why you’re here.

It is essential for visitors to only think about their loved ones when they visit them. Memory loss may have changed your loved one; you may feel intimidated to start the conversation and respond. 

You should work on this problem and find a way to help provide you and them an opportunity to connect. Try finding a similar thing that you and a person with dementia can both talk about. Consider visiting during mealtime, so both have something to focus on.

Visiting Loved Ones In Assisted Living - The Complete Guide

Set the right tone and body posture 

When you visit your loved ones, greet them with a smile, you should also greet other residents with a smile. Make eye contact with the person you see or your loved ones and give them a warm hug or handshake. Make appropriate body language. 

When you sit, make sure you are at a suitable eye level with your loved one. You may need to raise your voice when speaking with a senior with a hearing problem. However, do not shout; try talking slowly and raise your voice louder. 

You should bring small gifts with you.

Caregivers suggest bringing some items that you can share with your loved one. Try bringing objects such as photos, a movie, an old belonging, or something to eat. 

You can also get a recipe book if your loved one likes cooking and enjoying foods. Doctors also suggest bringing your young child or pets when you visit your parents or loved one, and seniors enjoy the company of their grandchildren.

Assisted Living Activities For Your Next Visit

Contact your memory care facility for the available activities for your loved one. The wide range of activities available at most facilities helps people find things that they are interested in and will enjoy. With the help of assisted living activities, the resident can also become friends with others.

You can try new skills such as painting, woodworking, and writing. Most facilities offer educational lectures, computer classes, and foreign language classes. You can enjoy these things with your loved ones when you visit.

Entertainment

Entertaining activities that you can try when you first visit your loved one include: 

  • Stand-up comedy 
  • Visiting choirs
  • Drama groups
  • Pedigree dog shows
  • Gardening 
  • Karaoke 
  • Fashion shows 
  • Art show 
  • Classic car shows

Entertainers often perform these activities in communities, which means that residents don’t have to travel to another location.

Visiting Loved Ones In Assisted Living - The Complete Guide

Dancing

Dancing helps keep the residents in communities stay fit and healthy. You can also enjoy dancing with your loved ones. Some dancing you can enjoy includes:

  • Line dancing
  • Swing dancing
  • Square dancing
  • Ballroom dancing

Exercise

The assisted living facility offers many exercise and workout activities. It helps residents stay healthy by promoting the proper blood flow to the brain and part of the body, increasing mobility.

  • Meditation and tai chi
  • Swimming
  • Yoga and chair yoga
  • Zumba and spin class

Music

You can also try singing as an engaging activity that the facility offers, which helps you connect with your loved ones.

  • Singing contests
  • Shows from private musicians
  • Children’s choir visits

Games

The facility offers traditional and virtual games as an activity for seniors in a nursing home.

  • Baseball
  • Tennis 
  • Golf 
  • Chess
Visiting Loved Ones In Assisted Living - The Complete Guide

Best Time To Visit Assisted Living Communities

Many people believe that visiting your loved one during spring and summer is the best time to see a senior living community. 

However, you should plan your visit based on other conditions too, that help you make your stay enjoyable. 

Visit a senior living during community events and holidays.

Healthcare professionals recommend visiting during the community event or on holiday so your loved one can meet their family like other residents. 

It can make your loved one happier. Generally, most nursing homes host regular activities, special events, and holiday gatherings.

You should call the community and check if they have any special events available. Some regular events assisted living programs facility offers includes:

  • Holiday celebrations
  • Art and music classes
  • Open houses
  • Fundraisers
  • Cook-offs and taste testing
  • Educational presentations and discussions
  • Games
  • Veterans appreciation events

You can also find interesting events in a community, so schedule your visit on the day of the event.

Visiting Loved Ones In Assisted Living - The Complete Guide

Visit your loved ones based on their progression.

It can be challenging for people to keep up with their loved ones as they progress into old age. You may also wonder should you visit or not, how often to visit your loved one. Doctors advise visiting a person with dementia at any stage, and you should start the conversation with your loved one as soon as possible. 

Your loved ones may not be able to talk or react; even then, you should visit them. If your loved one changed their behavior or their memory problem worsened, try visiting often and seeing their progress; it can help you understand more about your loved one’s condition.

Guidelines For Indoor Visitation During COVID-19

Visitor testing and vaccination

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most senior living communities offer tests to visitors to ensure the safety of staff, residents, and visitors. 

If the facility does not provide for testing, they may ask for the vaccination status of the visitor. The facility may ask unvaccinated residents to wear a mask until they are tested. 

Compassionate care visits

According to the Visitation Act, compassionate care visits are allowed at all times. CMS regulations now allow visitation at all times for all residents. CMS regulation also suggests facilities make human care visits only available for some particular scenarios to limit visitation.

Visiting Loved Ones In Assisted Living - The Complete Guide

Required Visitation

Facilities shall not restrict any visit to the care facility without having a reasonable safety or clinical cause. However, a person with no vaccination proof should wear a face cover or mask during the visit. 

There are no longer scenarios that are associated with COVID-19 where the person’s visit should be restricted. However, specific things are still restricted, such as visitors can only visit their loved one’s rooms.

Communal Activities

Residents can participate in assisted living communal activities such as dining and outdoor activities while adhering to the principles to prevent COVID-19. 

Senior living facilities can allow book clubs, movies, crafts, exercise, and music clubs. However, the residents must follow the guidelines to prevent the pandemic. The safest approach for residents is to wear a face-covering or mask while they are in the communal area of the facility.

Wrap Up

The journey to senior living takes time; it helps you and your loved one. After developing a memory problem, your loved one may live in a care center for long-term care. Your loved ones may not live in the same environment as before, but they are still an irreplaceable part of your family. 

Visiting Loved Ones In Assisted Living - The Complete Guide

So, visiting your loved ones is a must. However, during this COVID-19 outbreak, people should follow some special precautions that you learn in this guide.  We have also tried to add information about what sort of activities you can get into during the visit, and the best times to visit your loved ones. We hope all of this will be useful information for you.

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