Are you planning a visit to a loved one in a retirement community? Visits from family or friends can provide a wonderful opportunity for bonding, learning, and connection for residents living in a retirement community. As we know, loneliness and isolation can be major health risks for seniors, leading to anxiety, depression, and even memory loss. Here are some tips to make your visits enjoyable for everyone.
Plan your visit
Seniors in retirement communities often have vibrant social lives and spend their time attending group events, fitness programs, and excursions, so an unexpected visit may interfere with their daily agenda. Call your loved one in advance to schedule a time that works best for everyone. Consider sharing a meal together or even taking part in one of their favorite activities. Your loved one will appreciate you accommodating their daily routine and taking the time to call ahead.
Don’t come empty handed
When it comes to visiting loved ones, it’s never a bad idea to bring a gift or activity to share. Whether it’s old photographs or letters, home videos, or music, these small gestures can mean a great deal. Try bringing lotion and manicure supplies for a spa day, or do an easy activity together like a puzzle or craft. Taking the time to plan an activity together can help spark conversation and result in a wonderful visit.
Try a change of scenery
Especially if you bring energetic children, taking a walk around the retirement community is a good way to get some light exercise and enjoy a change of scenery. Many retirement villages have paved walking trails and benches that are perfect to sit and chat and appreciate the view.
When visiting seniors, your time together can fly by. Make sure you document your memories by taking plenty of photographs, videos, or even recording conversations of their stories. You and your family will cherish having record of your visits for years to come.