When aging loved ones move into assisted living facilities, life changes for them. It also changes for those who are concerned about their health and happiness. You can still be an involved person in your loved one’s activities, by engaging on a number of levels.
Arrange your schedule to make regular visits to see your loved one at the facility. This measure not only makes it easier for you to check on his or her well being; it also gives the loved one something to look forward to on a regular basis. In this way, elders are assured they are not separated from their families.
Weekly phone calls are another way to check in with your loved one. During these calls, you can find out if they are feeling well, eating well and are interacting with facility staff. Ask if they need anything that you can bring on your next visit. Inform them of daily family activities and events. This communication will help them to feel more connected.
If your loved one is well enough to leave the facility, using a walker or wheelchair, take him or her out for lunch. Although assisted living centers do a good job of providing healthy meals for their residents, eating something new and different is always a treat.
If your loved one is mobile, take him or her out for a shopping excursion for something new to wear, or something new for their living quarters. Getting an elder out into a busy venue can provide mental stimulation, and providing something new to enjoy adds excitement to the day.
Experts in aging note that maintaining an interest in hobbies and social activities can add significantly to both physical and mental being. If your elder enjoys magazines, puzzles, reading books or putting models together, bring these along on your visits. They will give you both something to talk about and enjoy together. Encourage loved ones to attend some of the classes or talks given at the facility to keep their minds active.
Attending Assisted Living Center Events
Many assisted living centers hold events for residents and their families for the holidays and other occasions. If possible, attend the event with your loved one. It will allow you to meet residents and staff members and give your loved one to feel loved and special.
Monitoring Health Conditions
Your visit can be an easy way to monitor your loved one’s overall health and any medical conditions he or she may have. Give your loved one a good visual inspection while you chat. Does he or she seem thinner, more tired or of poor coloring? If so, you should make a visit to the nurse’s station to voice your concerns. Make arrangements for your loved one to see the doctor, either at the physician’s office or at the facility, if the doctor sees patients there. Ask about the medications your loved one is taking, their dosages and frequency. Is the facility overseeing daily medication, or is the loved one allowed to be in charge of it? It may be that the elder doesn’t remember to take the medication, or takes it at the wrong times. Find out if the elder is eating well, and about any special dietary needs. These answers can help to ensure that your loved one is getting the care he or she needs every day.
Assisted living means a change in living situation and ability to interact with the world at large. You can make it a more enjoyable experience by engaging with your elder in new ways.
Park Terrace Village
712 Broadway Street, South Fulton, TN 38257
Assisted Living: 731-479-1321
Independent Living: 731-335-0109