Over a million seniors currently live in some form of an assisted living facility. Despite that large number, many of these seniors end up lonely and uninspired during the day.
If you have a loved one in an assisted living facility, you may find yourself struggling with these problems. However, there are some things you can do to cheer your loved one up.
Take a look at these five ideas that’ll put a smile on your loved one’s face.
1. Visit As Much As You Can
The transition between living at home and moving to an assisted living facility can be difficult for seniors. Frequent visits can help make the change easier.
A senior most likely won’t know anyone when they first arrive at the facility. Dropping by to see your loved one can make them more comfortable. It also shows that you love and care about them.
Sometimes moving to an assisted living facility may make seniors believe you’re tired of them or no longer have the patience for them. Taking time out of your day and spending it with them is one of the best ways to cheer them up.
2. Have Conversations and Really Listen
While you’re visiting, make sure you have some good conversations, especially if they’re the kind of person who loves to talk. Don’t let the topic of your conversation always center around their health or the living facility.
Ask them about what they liked to do when they were young. Get your loved ones to tell you a story about their first date. Then really engage in the conversation and listen to them.
This effort can make a senior feel they’re still valued and will take their focus off the negative things in their life (for instance, pain or health problems, being unable to do the activities they used to enjoy, not living in their own house, and being away from family).
3. Physical Memories
These memories could be music from their favorite decade, old pictures of them and family, old gifts they gave the grandkids, or other knick-knacks personalized for your loved one.
Turning on their favorite music or telling the story of how one grandchild reacted to opening their favorite present that one Christmas tends to bring a smile to any face.
Photo albums are a great way to bring up good memories. If your loved one has trouble remembering things, make sure you bring pictures from a time they can remember, usually the older, the better. Otherwise, the pictures could make them frustrated rather than happy.
4. Play Games
Some seniors may not be able to move around like they once could, but often their minds are just as sharp as before. Bringing them a variety of games and puzzles can give them something to do even on the days you’re not there.
Make sure these games are geared toward adults, even if your loved one has trouble with some of them. Though they may need help taking care of themselves, seniors are still adults, therefore, giving them games meant for children can make them feel degraded.
5. Make Them Feel Good About Themselves
Offer to wash, comb, and style their hair or give them a hand massage. If they’re still able, take them for walks and little trips outside of the assisted living facility. Bring them along to family gatherings, such as birthdays, holidays, or other parties.
Taking your time to pamper them and keeping them included in activities with the rest of the family will make them feel like they’re still a wonderful and important member of the family.
Keep Them Happy in an Assisted Living Facility
The best way to cheer your loved one up is to give them your time and pay attention to them. Remember, some people are happiest when they’re complaining about things. If your loved one has always been the complainer type, let them complain, but don’t take the complaints personally.
Looking for quality assisted living care for your loved one? Take a look at what we offer.
Mary Katherine’s Homes offer exceptional resident-centered services, delivered by staff trained to promote independence, allow freedom of choice and protect the privacy of each resident.