It is Valentine’s Day. This is the perfect time to spend with family, and visiting older loved ones in assisted living residences, and it has huge benefits for their physical and emotional health, as well as spreading love.
1. Visits give you a chance to evaluate their health, safety, and well-being.
Perhaps the most important reason to visit loved ones is the chance to check up on their health and happiness, and make sure nothing has changed to concern you since the last time you saw them. If they suffer from chronic illness, how are they coping? Do they need extra help with personal care, chores, finances, or medications? Do they just need a little encouragement to ensure healthy nutrition and fitness?
2. Visits can help you prevent self-neglect.
If your loved one lives alone, a visit can clue you in to any signs of self-neglect, if they are having trouble caring for themselves—whether the issue is declining mobility, cognition, or physical or mental health. If they live in senior housing, a visit is the perfect time to make sure their living situation is keeping them healthy and happy.
3. Visits with family can help bring back positive memories.
This is the time to reminisce about past happy get-togethers with family. Photo albums, home videos, music, and conversation can prompt nostalgia in even the most anti-holiday humbug. These memory prompts can be beneficial to those with dementia and memory loss, too.
4. Visits help the elderly stay emotionally engaged.
Just as holidays can bring back positive memories, there are times when any holiday can get us down, especially if your senior family member lives alone or is grieving a spouse. A visit from loved ones can help everyone stay connected and feel less lonely, especially far-flung family members, and can ward off holiday stress, depression and social isolation.
5. Visits remind your family that you love them.
It may feel like a given, but sometimes it takes your physical presence to make your loved ones happy. Taking time out to spend with them and throughout the year is a valuable reminder that you love them and are thinking of them even when you’re not able to be around, that you care about their long-term well-being.
6. Visits help us create new experiences and memories for the future.
Just as reminiscing can help our older loved ones feel young and happy, taking the time to create new cherished memories will ensure that the entire family has good times to look back on in the future. Visits can do just that, whether it’s a cheerful and memorable party, a quiet group stroll, or simply the joys of getting together.
For information on assisted living, contact Spring Arbor.