Visiting aging family members is beneficial for everyone. For visiting family members, it’s an opportunity to spend time with aging loved ones. Elderly parents and grandparents benefit from visits from their family in terms of their emotional well-being and lessening their feelings of social isolation.
But, spending time with elderly loved ones can present unique challenges. Changing roles, complicated dynamics, and busy lives can add the element of stress during a visit. Our staff at Colonial Home Care Services is happy to share our experience and offer five tips to make your family visits pleasant and safe.
5 Tips to Make Family Visits Pleasant and Safe for Elderly Loved Ones and Everyone Involved
1. Be fully present.
Leaving work and family obligations behind when visiting a loved one can be difficult. The fast pace of modern-day life can make it feel impossible to put away your cell phone, tablet, and laptop.
But, as we get older, our ability to multitask declines, as does our knack for maintaining lengthy conversations. Giving your loved ones your full attention, even for a few minutes, is an incredible gift you can give to them.
2. Take the pressure off.
Hosting a company is stressful, especially for an aging loved one. They often are unable to drive to the store and lack the energy to clean the house. Preparing meals can be challenging for them, as well.
You can help by bringing meals with you, even if it’s just sandwiches from home or your favorite deli. You can also try and visit right after the home health aide or housekeeper visits, which takes the pressure off of your family member to present a tidy house.
Ask your loved one when the best time of day is to visit; good timing makes a visit much more enjoyable for everyone.
3. Prepare the kids.
If you’re bringing young children, talk with them ahead of time. Tell them about any different rules at the home they’re visiting, and talk about any physical or mental changes they may see in their family members.
For younger kids, take something they can do together with older family members (puzzles, checkers, drawing, etc.) and something they can do on their own while the adults visit or rest.
4. Be prepared for memory loss.
It can be extra challenging visiting loved ones experiencing memory loss. It’s natural to recall old times and ask them what they remember, but avoid quizzing them about the past. Instead, share your memories with them to spark the conversation.
For example, instead of asking Mom, “Do you remember baking holiday cookies together,” you could say, “I always loved baking with you. Are chocolate chip cookies still your favorite?”
5. Be observant.
Visiting your loved ones gives you the chance to check in on their well-being and safety. You get to see their daily routines and their ability to care for themselves.
Make it a point to look for things like:
- Piles of the unclean laundry
- Spoiled food in the refrigerator
- Medications not stocked and organized
- A lack of nutritious food in the cupboards or fridge
- Fall hazards around their home
Also, observe your loved one for problems with walking or balance, weight loss, and changes in their mood and behavior.
Noticed That Your Elderly Family Member Needs Help After One of Your Visits?
If you’re concerned about the emotional or physical health of a loved one or about their ability to continue to remain at home independently, Colonial Home Care Services can help.
Our caregiving services include:
- Help with bathing, grooming, dressing, etc.
- Medication reminders
- Running errands (prescription pick-up, grocery shopping)
- Assistance with movement and mobility
- And much more
We’re a private, family-owned, and operated senior care agency located in Orange County, with an unwavering commitment to providing compassionate and dependable care for families and their loved ones that need help with life’s everyday caregiving challenges.
Contact us today to schedule a FREE in-home care evaluation.