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Senior Living Experts Newsletter

Thank you to our friend Ryan for another great guest post:How Often Should We Visit Our Loved OnesWho Are In Care?Most individuals realize the difficulty ofthe decision to choose to send a loved one to an assisted living or care home facility; however, fewpeople understand the ongoing concern after that decision has been made. Evenjust deciding when to visit and for how long is a heavily weighed choice formost as visiting can provoke a variety of emotions for both parties involved.For individuals visiting, the visit can prompt feelings of sadness orfrustration, and the same is true for the loved one who is living in thefacility. Either way, following a few guidelines for visiting is important toexperience the most beneficial visit and to keep everyone’s feelings andemotions intact.Visiting FrequencyOne of the biggest questions individuals have when it comes to visiting regardshow often can and should we visit. While individuals working at the nursinghome may suggest that it is best to let them handle the loved one’s adjustmentperiod, the truth is, you and your family are your loved one’s link to his orher identity. You are the one constant in his or her life. That being said,visiting frequently is a good way to help your loved one adjust. Nevertheless,the frequency should be determined by your personal schedule as well as yourloved one’s needs. One to two times a month may be doable and appropriate forsome families and situations while others may require much less or much more.The true key, however, is consistency. Try to set aside a certain time eachmonth or week to regularly visit the loved one and keep it consistent. Thisfactor will help ground your loved one and help you plan your time more easily.Other GuidelinesIn addition to frequent visits, keeping a few other things in mind for visitingwill help both you and your loved one throughout the process.• The visit should be simple. While it may seem fun to bring several things todo with your loved one or to have several people come during the visit, theseelements can make the time overwhelming. Remember to keep it simple when youvisit and to focus on the together time as moments of joy.• A quiet, comfortable space is the most enjoyable for visiting. The point ofthe visit is to spend time with your loved one, so look for a place to visitthat is free of distraction. Consider a porch, chapel, or even just the lovedone’s room.• Be flexible. Depending on when you visit each time, your loved one may beparticipating in different tasks. Be flexible and avoid being overbearing. Ifyou are on a time schedule, consider calling ahead to see when would be thebest time to visit.• Make the visit about your loved one. Consider your loved one’s interest priorto coming and think about what he or she may enjoy doing, but don’t makeprejudgments. Once you have arrived ask your loved one how he or she wants tospend the time together and be flexible.Whether you are able to visit once a week, a couple of times a month, or a fewtimes a year, make the times you do get to enjoy count. Remember to focus onthe individual and to include him or her in the decision making. Most of alljust spend time together.Author BIO:Ryan is a Freelance writer and health enthusiast. He is in his final year of nursing and passionate about helping others and sharing his thoughts on the online world.

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