After your loved one moves to an assisted living community, visiting regularly is an important way to stay connected and show how much you care. In fact, healthcare experts agree that frequent visitation and socialization can help keep your loved ones physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy as they age – even when you’re just popping in to say “Hi.”
Whether they’re long or short, visits with your loved ones in assisted living make a meaningful impact on their lives. The quality of time spent together will be the most important aspect of your visit. But if you’re feeling as if you want to do something fun and different from just sitting and chatting, try some of the ideas below for a special experience together.
Play a Game
Card games, jigsaw puzzles, and board games are all classic ways of spending time together. Plus, keeping up a conversation and game of canasta at the same time is a multitasking exercise that’s an excellent way to help keep your loved one’s mind sharp. Alternatively, piecing together a large puzzle can last for several visits (and it becomes a nice conversation piece for other visitors to notice).
Reminiscing over old photos or videos can be a fun way to spend a visit together (and flex those memory skills as well). However, that’s not the only thing you can do with photos during a visit. Bring pictures from any recent trips you’ve taken or events you’ve attended to help your loved feel involved and in-the-loop on family affairs. You can also stage a photoshoot together to make new memories, or furnish their living space with some new portraits.
Small excursions with loved ones can mean a lot to someone in assisted living, especially if they no longer drive. Whether it’s a shopping trip, a matinee at the theatre, a picnic, or a salon appointment – the quality of time you spend together is more important than the destination. However, to make the journey more comfortable for everyone, try to be mindful of things like accessible walking areas, available restrooms, places to sit down, and a rush-free timetable.
Sharing a meal is another good way to bond with your loved one during a visit. Joining them in the community dining hall is also a great way to meet their neighbors and get in lots of socialization. Or, if they’re itching for something a little different, order out for some favorite foods that aren’t on the regular menu.