How to Make Your Visit to an Assisted Living Facility Meaningful

Visiting your loved one in an assisted living facility can be a meaningful experience for everyone involved. Regular visits with your loved one can maintain your bond, give them an opportunity to socialize and engage, alleviate boredom, and reduce their risk of depression and isolation.

Before scheduling a visit, check with the staff at your loved one’s assisted living facility. Make sure you know the visiting hours, check-in process, and what to expect. This is particularly important if our loved one is in an assisted living memory care facility or assisted living hospice care.

These facilities may have more stringent regulations, or may have specific activities or services planned that you should be aware of. Here are some of the ways that you can make your visit with your loved one more meaningful.

Make the Visit About Them

When planning your visit to your loved one’s assisted living facility, sit down with your family and go over your expectations and plans. Make sure your family knows that the purpose of the visit is to brighten your loved one’s day, and the visit should be about them and not you.

Maintaining realistic expectations will help everyone stay on the same page and avoid disappointment or hurt feelings if the visit doesn’t go completely to plan. Be prepared for times when your loved one is tired, disinterested in activities or conversation, or just isn’t feeling well.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t want you there or they don’t appreciate the effort you’ve gone to. You can still have a meaningful visit and enjoy quiet time together.

Plan the Visit for the Best Time in Their Day

Find out from your loved one or a staff member what the best time of day is to visit. If your loved one receives medical services, make sure you’re not scheduling a visit during a scheduled appointment or service time.

If your loved one is in an Alzheimer’s care or dementia care facility, there may be a specific time of day that they are most lucid and would be in the best mood for a family visit. In general, the best time of day to visit someone in an assisted living facility is in the mid-morning, lunch time, or right after lunch.

You can also ask your loved one directly what the best time of day is for a visit. This gives them a chance to look forward to the visit and plan for it.

Find Out if They Offer Family Activities

Depending on the type of assisted living facility your loved one is in, they may have certain activities scheduled in advance. Some of these might be appropriate for family members to join in. Other activities might be residents-only, and you should check with your loved one in case they want to attend those activities.

Be Mindful of the Number of Visitors & Length of Visit

Your loved one may not have the time or energy for a long visit. They may also feel overwhelmed if you bring the entire family in for a visit at the same time. Some assisted living facilities, especially Alzheimer’s care and memory care facilities, will only allow a certain number of visitors at one time.

Most assisted living facilities and assisted living hospice care facilities also have specific visiting hours and limit visits to a certain length. Before you plan your visit, contact the assisted living facility and ask them about restrictions and rules around visits, and then have a discussion with your family about how to plan your visit around these regulations.

Create a Calm Environment

Maintaining a calm and peaceful environment during your visit will make it easier to talk, catch up, and assess your loved one’s state of mind. Don’t make a lot of noise or generate a lot of excitement, and try to reduce the background noise if possible.

Turn off the TV or radio and find a quiet, comfortable, and private space to visit. If your loved one is hard of hearing, let your family know to avoid cross-talk and interrupting, and to speak clearly and loudly.

Stay Respectful

Make sure to stay respectful of your loved one’s space and the assisted living facility’s rules. You are in a different environment and can’t necessarily treat it like a private home.

The assisted living facility may have rules or regulations regarding areas you can enter, where you can socialize, and what activities are appropriate. If you bring young children with you, make sure they understand that they can’t run around the facility or play loudly, as they may cause safety issues or disrupt other residents’ peace and quiet.

It’s a good idea to talk with your family ahead of time about what to expect and what you can and can’t do. If your loved one is in an Alzheimer’s care or memory care facility, ask a staff member before you suggest an activity like a walk. They may have rules about when and where residents can be at certain times.

Show Warmth & Affection

Don’t be afraid to show warmth and affection to your loved one. They may still be adjusting to living in an assisted living facility, and may appreciate familial contact. Greet them with a smile and a hug, and don’t act standoffish or awkward.

Always pay attention to their verbal and body language to make sure you aren’t crossing a boundary or making them uncomfortable. If your loved one is in an assisted living Alzheimer’s care facility or dementia care facility, you may need to be more mindful about touch. Don’t force physical touch if your loved one seems confused, disoriented, or overwhelmed.

Be Yourself

Finally, although it may seem obvious, be yourself! Don’t feel like you have to act fake, unnaturally cheerful, or falsely positive. Your loved one will see through that and it will make the visit awkward. You can find uplifting topics and fun activities without being insincere.

Plus, if you aren’t comfortable being yourself during a visit to your loved one’s assisted living facility, you may end up putting off visits and that wouldn’t be fair to either of you. Planning ahead of time for your visits can help you prepare and approach the visit with comfort, calm, and composure so it is meaningful for you and your loved one.

Do You Need Assisted Living Placement in Arizona?

If it’s time to consider assisted living placement in Arizona for your loved one, our compassionate team at Placita In Home Care can help. We offer comprehensive services that help you find the right assisted living facility for your loved one.

Our assisted living placement services make the transition easier, and ensure that you find a safe, comfortable, and secure home for your loved one. We offer this service free to families, and specialize in finding assisted living Alzheimer’s care, assisted living dementia care, and assisted living hospice care facilities that meet your family’s specific needs, goals, and budget.

We offer services to families in Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County, and Cochise County. Call us today or fill out our contact form online to schedule a consultation for assisted living placement services.