« Back to Blog

Tips for Visiting Family in an Assisted Living Community

Setting aside time to visit a loved one in Assisted Living is important. It keeps them connected with their family and friends outside the community and gives them something to look forward to that isn't part of their regular routine. Your family member will already appreciate you spending quality time with them, but finding ways to make your visit special may boost their mood even further. Explore these tips for visiting family in Assisted Living to plan your next meetup. 

Visit Your Loved One Regularly

Set realistic expectations regarding when and how often you can visit your loved one. If you make plans to visit for a specific time and day, commit to it. Failing to show up may disappoint or upset them, especially if they've been looking forward to your visit.

However, unexpected scheduling conflicts may arise, forcing you to cancel. If this happens, let your family member know and be honest about what happened. Try rescheduling the visit during that same conversation or follow up soon after to alleviate negative feelings about the cancellation. 

Plan How to Use the Time

Plan how you intend to spend the time with your loved one. Bring photos and other items you've acquired from experiences that occurred since the last time you visited, including family trips or your children's school events. Your loved one will appreciate the extra thought you put into the visit and being updated on family happenings. 

Allow time during the visit for them to share their experiences and life updates or to include you in a community event or activity. For example, Aberdeen Heights offers educational seminars and workshops through the Just Ask lifelong learning series, presenting a great bonding opportunity for you to share. 

Stay Positive

Your mood during the visit can affect your loved one's overall mental well-being, especially because they only get limited time with you. Be positive when communicating, and refrain from making negative remarks about the community or activities they invite you to.

For example, if they ask you to visit during lunchtime, don't complain about the food or dining area. Remember, the community is their home. They likely wouldn't bring you to a part they didn't like, and it's important to respect their space and opinions. 

Be Realistic With Time

There's no right amount of time to spend with your loved one. Ultimately, the length of your visit depends on their health, energy and other plans for the day. If you've only been with them for about an hour but they seem tired, it may be a good idea to leave and let them rest. However, if they keep the conversation going or ask you to participate in an activity, don't feel pressured to leave unless you have additional plans. 

Additionally, Assisted Living residents at Aberdeen Heights have access to a full calendar of scheduled events. Your loved one may have plans to attend a fitness class, club meeting or social excursion later that day. Don't interfere with their schedule or make them feel guilty for ending a visit earlier than you anticipated.  

Be Patient and Understanding

Visiting someone in senior living can sometimes be an emotional experience. As people age, they may have difficulty performing certain tasks, such as getting dressed, moving quickly or cooking. Don't make them feel guilty or incompetent for not being able to do something, making a mistake or being forgetful. Assure them it's okay, and offer help if they're open to it. 

Additionally, your loved one's behavior or personality may change in their new environment, especially if they're in the early stages of Alzheimer's or dementia. Educate yourself on these disorders to understand how to best assist them and make the visit enjoyable for you both.  

Be Present

Commit to spending uninterrupted time when you visit. Silence your phone and give your undivided attention. Go for a walk and ask to see their favorite community locations, or post up in the lounge or outdoor courtyard for a long conversation.

Making an effort to be present and engaged shows your loved one you're visiting because you want to see them and not out of obligation. They'll be grateful for your commitment, and you'll be happy knowing you're making new memories to cherish for a lifetime. 

Reach Out to Aberdeen Heights for More Tips and Advice

At Aberdeen Heights, we understand the importance of family involvement for seniors in Assisted Living or any other care level. Because our residents' overall health and well-being is a top priority, we encourage family visits and allow loved ones of residents to participate in community events. 

When someone moves to senior living, it's an adjustment for the whole family. Contact Aberdeen Heights by calling 314-909-6000 for more tips on visiting family in Assisted Living or to schedule a tour to see if our community in Kirkwood, Missouri, aligns with your loved one's needs.

« Back to Blog