When a loved one moves into a memory care assisted living community, it is a transition for everyone in the family. Little ones may miss seeing their grandparents often. You might miss talking to your parent. Or not having that time you would normally spend together can be very hard.
Visiting regularly can help manage your new circumstances. Visiting is great for every member of the family. It maintains the family bond and provides enrichment for all family members.
Sitting down and catching up with your loved one can be quite rewarding. But after a while, you’ll need an infusion of variety. To continue making your time together fulfilling, you can take part in an activity with your loved one.
Here’s a few ideas to try for your next visit!
#1 Craft Together in Memory Care Assisted Living
You can make something very beautiful or attractive by crafting together. There’s no shortage of ideas available on the internet that your senior loved one might enjoy.
Popular options include Country Living, Martha Stewart, DIY Projects and of course, Pinterest!
Seasonal or holiday crafts can help you celebrate special times of the year together. Crafts can be a great way to learn more about your senior loved one. Or to help them fill their memory care or assisted living unit with handmade pieces!
Scrapbooking is another great craft to do together. Digging through family albums can open up a treasure trove of family history and stories! When your loved one is feeling nostalgic, they can flip through a physical scrapbook. Your entire family could share a digital scrapbook! There are even services to print digital scrapbooks to share with your family.
Sit together with your loved one and look over the possibilities. Take turns choosing a crafting activity and let the bonding begin!
#2 Family Game Night
Another great idea for bonding is having a family game night when you visit your loved on in memory care assisted living. If you choose the right game, even little ones can join in for fun! Many memory care and assisted living communities have board games you can borrow, or you could bring a favorite from home!
Something to consider when picking a game is the progression of your loved one’s dementia. It might be best to stick to games with few and simple rules to avoid unnecessary frustration. There are many games that dementia patients find easy to play. There’s sure to be one that you can enjoy together.
#3 Make a Book Club
Reading the same book as your loved one at a memory care assisted living facility can provide a topic to discuss during your visits. You can have interesting conversations about a character’s journey or the themes in a story.
The club could be only you and your loved one or include other interested family members and friends. Spend the first meeting of the book club picking books everyone wants to read and make up a schedule to meet.
Your loved one’s dementia might make reading a book difficult. Reading magazines or short stories is a great alternative. Even watching tv shows or movies would work. It’s about engaging in meaningful conversation with each other about the material.
#4 Go For a Picnic at the memory care assisted living community
Memory care assisted living communities like ours will have great food for your loved one. But eating in the same place day after day can get pretty dull. If the weather is beautiful, you and your loved one can make the most of it by enjoying an outdoor picnic.
You could lay out a blanket in our garden and veranda area or take your loved one out to a community park. Get food from your loved one’s favorite restaurant or pack homemade favorites. A meal outdoors in good weather and good company can have an energizing effect on the entire family.
#5. Family TV Night
The television has long been the gathering place for many families. You can embrace this by having a movie night with your loved one at memory care assisted living. Watch a TV show you both love or pick a weekly movie night. Pick a genre you both enjoy and delight in the tribulations of the character’s lives on screen together.
There are many streaming options available with a wide selection of shows and movies. You can also set up cable for your loved one’s memory care or assisted living unit.
#6 Keep Connected with Family Members
Not everyone in your family may be able to visit your loved one as often as they’d like. It could be siblings that live far away, or grandkids have gone away for school. During your visit, you can help your loved one in memory care or assisted living to connect with other family members.
Video chatting online is a great option to keep in touch. There are many options available. You could help set them up if your senior loved one is not tech savvy.
#7 Create a Custom Playlist
Our brains respond in a unique way to music. Your loved one’s memory for music might be different than their other memories. Listening to music together can be an emotional experience. Your parent may rediscover music they love or become nostalgic about a memory. Create a playlist of these special songs together to enjoy during your visits.
Trips to your parent’s memory care assisted living home don’t have to be boring. Using some of our tips, you can make your visits meaningful and fun!
Is your parent or senior loved one currently in memory care or assisted living? What activities do you do together with them? We want to hear your stories and suggestions in the comments.