With the holidays coming up I thought it might be a good idea to talk about visiting with loved ones who live in senior communities, assisted living or nursing homes.
Many times families will come in and spend the afternoon with their loved one in their rooms. You should really be visiting with them in the common areas. \ When someone comes to your home, you don't invite them into your bedroom to spend time with them do you? No, you would visit in the kitchen or the living room... Every community I work with here in Chicago has common areas, use them! The bistro area is usually the best, because you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a snack. Its a great opportunity to meet some of the other residents or staff and see how they respond to your loved one.
Remember this is their home, treat it like a home and make use of all the common areas! Bring a pet if they facility will allow it. The other seniors (well most of them...) will enjoy visiting with the pet as well. Some of the other residents don't have family or friends that can visit so you may be making someone else's day if you do so!P.S. Note that the only picture I could find of a child visiting their parents in assisted living - is actually posed in their bedroom, exactly what I just said not to do, but I really liked it.