As loved ones age, there may be a time when senior facilities are the best housing option for them. If you are one of your loved one's caregivers, you will be visiting them quite often. To that end, there are some things you should prepare for before visiting them in senior housing.
Parking. When visiting loved ones, be aware of not only where you'll have to park, but also what times you are allowed to park there. Some senior housing facilities will have time restrictions on parking. Also, certain spaces need to be left open such as those for handicapped parking and ambulatory care.
Visiting times. Some, but not all, senior housing facilities will have designated visiting hours. Even if the facilities contain separate apartments for seniors, there still may be visiting restrictions. Check with staff to be sure you will not be visiting at a time when company is not permitted.
Fun things to do during your visit. Just like when you visited your loved ones at previous residences, they still will want to enjoy your company with interesting activities. They may already have some of their favorite games and other entertainment available. If not, there are many things you could bring during your visit, or that you could keep there.
DVDs. Watching movies with loved ones in senior care facilities is a great way to share time together, as well as a smile. Funny, lighthearted movies are a good option, especially if loved ones are ill. Smiles and laughter are most always good in such situations.
Cards. Card games, especially memory games, are good for cognition and memory. They also are something that can keep everyone occupied and having fun for good lengths of time.
Board games. These are excellent activities. They are not only good for memory and stimulation, but also can bring back good memories, and are great for bonding.
Video games. Like anyone else, seniors enjoy playing video games, too. Plus, some are great for exercise, and even strengthen focus and vision. Systems such as Nintendo's Wii have physical and mental stimulation games just for this purpose.
Behaviors that may arise during your visit. Sometimes loved ones at senior care facilities may engage in certain behaviors that are not to everybody's liking. Be prepared for these behaviors, and do the best you can to cope with them and help turn them around. Wandering, memory loss and irritability are all behaviors that may arise while visiting your loved ones.
Remember that while your loved one might be in a senior housing facility, they can still be capable of doing things independently. Just have fun, respect the rules, be mindful of the staff's orders and, of course, your loved one's wishes.