When parents or loved ones make their home in an assisted living community, visits from family and friends greatly add to their daily joy and overall quality of life.
Residents look forward to this time spent together and appreciate the many benefits received, including:
- Additional opportunities to remain engaged with others
- A chance to reconnect with the people and memories of the past
- The enjoyment of creating new experiences
- Reinforcement of the feelings that they are loved and cared for
Tips for successful visits with a loved one who is mentally sharp in assisted living
Although our loved ones may need help with physical tasks, those who are mentally sharp in assisted living can join in several activities. But before arriving for your visit, you may want to consider the following tips:
Arrange a time that’s best for your parent. The priority is the visit but try to avoid the same time as a favorite community activity they enjoy. It’s also helpful to consider the time of day that’s usually best for them cognitively. Late afternoons and evenings may be more of a challenge.
Ask them what they would like to do. If you know their passions, that’s a great place to start. But it’s still nice to ask them what activities they might like to try. On any given day, they may be more in the mood for a quiet visit or taking a drive.
Look for signs of enjoyment. It’s always best to be aware if your loved ones seem to be tiring or not enjoying themselves. If they appear uncomfortable, try changing the subject of the conversation or switch to another activity.
Activities when visiting those mentally sharp in assisted living
If you’re uncertain how best to spend your time together, there are several activities you can share:
- Spend time outdoors
Enjoying the fresh air is great for both physical and emotional health. Options can range from taking a walk or working in the community garden. Bring a book to identify the local birds and begin watching.
- Visit an art gallery or museum
Plan for a cultural day and visit an art gallery, museum or a festival in the area. If your parent enjoys a hands-on experience, drop in for a painting or pottery class and create a tangible memory of your day.
- Share an arts and crafts project
If remaining in the community is a better choice, research a few ideas for a crafts project. Consider what your loved one would enjoy and bring in the supplies so you can artistically create together.
- Play a game or work on a puzzle
Did your parents love to play board games? Did they look forward to the challenge of a multi-piece puzzle? If so, bring in a few options and enjoy the activity, laughter – and the conversation.
- Enjoy a favorite movie or book together
When visiting those mentally sharp in assisted living, consider a movie day, complete with snacks or create your own book club and choose a standing date to return and continue reading – or re-reading a beloved classic.
- Bring an in-home spa to them
You don’t need to go out for a day of pampering. Plan ahead and create a luxurious experience for your parent, whether it’s a manicure, pedicure or a hand and foot massage with warm lotion.
- Make it an outing
Your loved one may look forward to an excursion outside of the community. Consider whether an afternoon spent shopping or traveling a short distance to visit with a relative or close friend might be the perfect choice.
- Share a meal together
Make arrangements to share a meal with your loved one at the community or make reservations to go to a restaurant they always enjoyed. Sunday morning brunches or an end-of-the-week dinner out can be a favorite.
- Look through old photo albums
Bringing in photo albums to browse through is a wonderful way to get a glimpse into your loved one’s past. Photos of celebrations, family reunions or vacations are a perfect way to jumpstart reminiscing.
- Bring along a favorite pet
Check with the community first but consider bringing in a family pet or the type of animal that your parents loved from their childhood. Animals have a way of providing comfort, relaxation and focus.
- Listen to music together
Music is a powerful way to trigger past joys and memories. People can hear a song and instantly travel back in time. Arrange to listen to favorites either as background music for conversation or just to sit and enjoy.
- Invite others to join in
It’s a wonderful reunion whenever you can bring along the grandchildren. You may want to have them show their artwork or read from a book. Asking other family members or old friends to join you in a visit can be so meaningful to your parent.
Ingleside’s Senior Living
If you’re considering whether a senior living community could be the perfect support for you or your parents to live the highest quality of life, we hope you found this article helpful.
We also invite you to visit one of our Ingleside communities. We believe it’s even easier to enjoy life with the benefits that we offer, including:
- Maintenance-free lifestyle
- Chef-prepared meals in our elegant dining rooms or casual cafés
- Fully equipped fitness centers
- Heated indoor swimming pools
- Art studios
- Beautiful walking trails
For information on Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge senior living community located in Lake Ridge, Virginia, please call (703) 420-7105 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.
For information on Ingleside at King Farm senior living community located in Rockville, Maryland, please call (240) 414-8557 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.
For information on Ingleside at Rock Creek senior living community located in Washington, DC, please call (202) 846-2651 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.