Tips for Supporting Family Members in Assisted Living

The choice to move to a senior living community can be difficult, not just for future residents but also for their family caregivers and other loved ones. That said, the initial discussion about whether it might be time to consider assisted living is usually the most difficult moment. Once the decision is made and seniors have moved into their new communities, things tend to fall into place more easily.

Older Californians investigating senior living options with their families often feel better knowing that they won’t be cut off from the outside when they move in, and loved ones who want to show their support will have plenty of options. This article will focus on some ways that family members can help seniors who have recently moved into new living arrangements feel more secure and supported.

Call to Check In

Family members can make sure their loved ones don’t feel forgotten by calling to check in often. Turning this process into part of a routine is the best way to make sure everyone stays on the same page. Figure out what works for both people’s schedules, then make a point of sticking to it, whether that means calling every day after dinner or once a week on Sundays. Frequent check-ins let seniors know that they haven’t been and won’t be forgotten.

Visit as Often as Possible

Finding a community for seniors that is close to other family members’ homes makes more frequent visits possible. These visits offer incredible benefits to both seniors and younger family members, not just because they offer opportunities for socialization but also because they strengthen family bonds.

Of course, not everyone can find a senior living community right up the street, and most Californians lead busy lives. Scheduling time to visit should still be a priority, though, even if it’s just the occasional visit on a holiday or a free weekend. For those who live too far away for frequent visits, sending letters or thoughtful cards in addition to phone or video check-ins can help to bridge the gap created by distance.

Encourage Seniors to Stay Active

One of the best things about moving into a senior living community is that it offers opportunities for socializing and engaging in fun activities that aren’t available to those who choose to age in place at home. Sometimes, though, seniors who have recently transitioned into new housing arrangements have trouble getting over feelings of shyness or hesitation. A nudge in the right direction from caring family members is sometimes all it takes to get residents to try new things.

Don’t be forceful when encouraging community engagement. Instead, try to ask about what friends aging loved ones have made, what activities they’ve participated in, or what events are coming up that might be of interest. Some communities also offer activities that family members can engage in with their loved ones during visits, as well.

Keep Loved Ones Involved

When special events such as birthdays, reunions, or holiday parties come up, finding ways to involve loved ones in senior living can keep them feeling like an important part of the family. For local events, that might mean having someone pick up an aging relative to participate in person for part or all of the event, but that’s not the only way to encourage participation. 

Seniors who live too far away to visit in person can still benefit substantially from communication before, during, and after events. It can also be very helpful to plan visits around the holidays or other occasions such as anniversaries, as many people struggle with feelings of depression during these times. Elderly loved ones may be missing their spouses or feeling bad about not being able to participate. A visit, or even a virtual check-in, can make all the difference.

Make Sure Everyone Is on the Same Page

It’s often the case that one family member winds up taking on the bulk of caregiving burdens, and the same thing can happen when it comes to checking in on loved ones in senior living. Make sure to keep the whole family involved through active communication so that everyone knows what they can do to help, whether they live nearby or far away.

Find the Finest in Senior Living

Family members currently providing care for a loved one aging in place at home can and should play an active role in helping to find an assisted living community in West Hills, CA, that will suit all of their needs. Fallbrook Glen of West Hills offers the finest in senior living options. We make sure that all of our residents have the support they need to thrive. We welcome community involvement, too, so call (818) 883-4123 to schedule a tour for the whole family.