Deciding to place an elderly loved one in memory care can be challenging. After families have found the right community and helped get their loved ones settled, the support should not end there. How can loved ones support their elderly family members? What are the most effective ways to offer encouragement and support to someone living in assisted living?
Support Is Essential for Seniors
Providing support to seniors is critical for helping them stay grounded during times of transition. No matter how happy a senior is about moving into memory care living, they are going to have some degree of fear and anxiety. It takes time for seniors to grow accustomed to living in new surroundings and get to know fellow residents and staff members. The following offers some of the reasons support is so essential during this time.
- People who have a strong support system end up living much longer than those who do not. Family involvement during the last years of their lives helps seniors thrive and stay healthier.
- Sometimes, seniors develop problems with immune system functions when they go through major life changes. It is during these times that stress can bring on sickness. When families are involved in senior care, seniors experience less stress and stronger immune functions.
- Mental health changes often cause rapid declines in function for seniors. When seniors move into a senior living community, they sometimes develop depression because they are away from the unfamiliar. When family members do not stay in touch, seniors feel like they have been abandoned, and some of them give up, causing depression. When family members remain involved, seniors begin to flourish in these communities.
- Cognitive declines are less likely to occur when seniors have loved ones involved in their lives. Seniors who stay connected with those they care about have a higher cognitive function than those who feel isolated.
Changing Roles Mean a More Solid Family Structure
When elderly parents suddenly switch roles with their children, the family dynamics change considerably. Many seniors feel uncomfortable when it seems people are treating them like children. It is important to embrace the changes without causing seniors to feel as if they no longer have a voice. To help seniors feel more confident in moving into a community, adult children and other family members need to involve the seniors in every aspect of making decisions when possible.
Visitations Are Essential
One of the most important things people can do to support senior loved ones living in memory care in Modesto, CA, is visiting them. Visiting a senior is critical for helping them adjust to their new surroundings. Unfortunately, some families stop coming around bit by bit until they are not visiting the seniors at all.
The visits should continue as often as possible throughout the senior’s life. Including seniors in special events, such as birthdays, graduations, and celebrations is critical. Seniors can participate in these special events virtually if the celebration cannot be brought to them in the community.
Ideally, families should visit seniors at least once a week. Because seniors living in assisted living are on consistent schedules, it helps to keep a regular visitation schedule. By keeping a schedule, seniors know when to expect loved ones and can feel a sense of grounding. It also never hurts to surprise seniors from time to time.
Encourage Seniors to Stay Active
One of the most important things to pursue with seniors is helping them stay active. When seniors stay active, they protect their physical and mental health. Seniors who participate in activities are less likely to suffer from immune concerns and mental health issues.
Many communities offer family options that allow family members to get involved in activities. Consult with the director and staff members to learn about the opportunities that are available for families to get involved with senior activities.
Encouraging seniors to remain active and make friends in the senior community can be beneficial. Some seniors take to the activities right away, while others need a bit of a nudge to get involved. Family members that encourage participation will help seniors better acclimate to their new living conditions and enjoy their lives to the fullest.
One of the best parts of living in memory care is the opportunities for activities. There is always something fun and exciting going on for seniors and their loved ones.
Here at the Gardens of Modesto Memory Care, our residents live life to the fullest. We provide a stunningly beautiful and safe environment for residents. With 37 exquisite memory suites, our residents receive the 24/7 care they need while living as independently as possible.