Deciding to move an older loved one into a senior living community is difficult, but in some cases, it is necessary. During times of challenge and change, discussions about independent living are a tough step for many families—and seniors should be included in the conversation. In this guide, we’ll list a few things families can do to support their loved ones as they make the transition.
Call and Chat Often
Even after a person has been part of an assisted living community for weeks, months, or years, regular video chats, calls, and in-person visits are essential. We all know that life can get busy, but it’s important to schedule quality time with those we love. When seniors live in communities, regular visits help build anticipation and keep communication consistent.
Whether you call once a week after dinner or every day on the way home from work, routine check-ins are vital. With them, families can stay connected in ways that really matter.
If your family member is in assisted living in San Antonio, TX and you’re nearby, regular in-person visits are a great way to form closer bonds. Not only will regular socialization stimulate a senior’s mind, but it will also allow them to spend time with those they love.
At Villa de San Antonio, we understand that not all families live near us. In those cases, scheduling visits, whether it’s during a vacation, on a weekend, or over a holiday, is encouraged. Families can visit residents in other ways, including letters, cards, emails, and video chats.
While most of us do an outstanding job of staying in touch with our senior family members, it can be tough at times. During transitional periods in particular, regular contact will provide much-needed moral support.
Encourage a Balanced and Healthy Lifestyle
Some of the best things about living in a community for seniors are the social opportunities and activities in which they can participate. If you’re considering making the move, encourage the seniors in your life to ask questions about community activities—and to pick a few in which they may be interested.
Social, active communities have numerous benefits for seniors, but in some cases, it takes a gentle nudge from a friend or a family member before they get started. During regular visits and calls, ask them about their activities and encourage them to try new ones. Don’t nag or be forceful; create a loving support system instead.
During a community tour, see if there are any friends and family activities to take part in. This will get your loved one involved while leaving you with an idea of what to expect—and it will also help you ask the right questions during routine chats.
If a senior friend or family member is uncertain as to what they’d like to do, start with their interests. For example, if they like playing games or working out, find a community with weekly fitness classes and game nights. For those with a competitive streak, games are a great choice. No matter what their interests may be, it’s best to be loving and supportive. When we encourage our older family members to engage in physical and social activities, it does much for their mental and physical health.
Keep Them in the Loop
When seniors join assisted living communities, they should be kept involved in family events. Even if they can’t be there in person, a quick phone call or video chat will let them know they’re not forgotten. Seasonal affective disorders can be a big challenge for seniors—especially around the holidays—but communication and love will make all the difference. Visit or call your family member on occasions like:
- Major holidays
- Religious celebrations
- Family reunions and visits
Don’t wait for them to call (unless that’s your routine). Take the first step and keep seniors involved, and you’ll both be better for it. At Villa de San Antonio, we make it easy for families to stay in touch on special occasions.
Be There for Them When it Matters
There are quite a few ways friends and family can support those in assisted living, and most are about keeping in touch and showing that you care. By following these tips, offering regular encouragement, and getting acquainted with the community’s caregivers, you’ll feel more involved in the senior’s life, and they will feel as if they’re still an important part of the family. Learn more about Villa de San Antonio online or call today to schedule a community tour. We look forward to meeting your family!