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4 Ways Visiting a Senior Loved One Can Help Them

by Frank Herold
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When you have a loved one in a senior care facility, visiting them may fall to the bottom of your To Do list--not out of a lack of love, but because the busyness of life all too often gets in the way. You may feel that your loved one is surrounded by new people and friends in that facility, and that you do not need to visit to help chase away loneliness. After a move to a care facility, you may also not feel quite so worried about your loved one's care. In reality, however, visiting your senior loved one in a care facility can help them in a number of ways. 

Related Blog: The Importance of Maintaining an Active Social Life in Your Senior Years

1. Regular visits help decrease loneliness and depression. 

No matter how many people there are around your loved one, there's no substitute for family! Regular visits help chase away loneliness and depression, improving your loved one's mood and overall quality of life. Many seniors struggle with depression after moving into a senior care facility, especially if they feel disconnected from loved ones. Regular visits, however, can decrease those feelings of loneliness and help your loved one feel involved once again.

 

2. Regular visits help you feel more connected. 

You can't get back lost time, no matter how much you might long to be able to. When you visit your loved one in a senior care facility, you increase the feeling of connection between you, making you feel more connected as a family. You can continue to build new memories when your loved one is in a care facility--and some of those might just be the best memories you ever build! Not only that, during those regular visits, you'll share information about what is going on in your family's life and learn what is important to your loved one, further enhancing the sense of connection between you. 

 

3. Visits can help keep your loved one's mind sharp.

When you visit your loved one in a senior care facility, it encourages them to interact with you. You'll pull up memories of your presence, discuss inside jokes, and enjoy time together in a way that only happens when you visit. You will also help your loved one stay more emotionally engaged in general when you visit regularly: seniors who don't have regular visits from loved ones are more likely to become socially withdrawn or feel isolated, regardless of how many people they have around them in that facility. 

 

4. Visits give you a chance to check in. 

When you don't check in on your loved one, you may have no idea what is going on in their life. You may miss out on important changes that could signify a medical concern: as a family member, you have a better idea of what is normal for your parents or grandparents than anyone else does. Your visits and concern could trigger a chat with your loved one's care team. When you visit, you will also get the chance to look over the senior living facility and make sure that everything is going according to plan: that your loved one feels supported, is receiving all necessary medical care, and is building a happy life. 

Visiting a loved one in a care facility has a number of important advantages. Seniors who rarely receive visitors feel more isolated and forgotten, while seniors who receive regular visits from loved ones are more likely to feel connected, engaged, and as though they are still an important part of the family. Consider setting up a regular visit schedule with the senior in your life, whether you live just down the road or many miles away. In many cases, you'll find that it's just as rewarding for you as it is for your family member!


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