Arizona senior citizens often remain healthy and independent for years longer than previous generations. But even the most self-sufficient can develop health issues that make it difficult to live at home. Many move into senior communities with the resources to ensure residents’ health, safety, and well-being. Although communities can provide residents with excellent quality of life, they need family involvement to thrive. There are several ways that families can support relatives and ensure they remain connected to loved ones.
Help Seniors Ease into Their New Situation
When older adults cannot live alone, it is often because they need the help offered by assisted living communities. If they have already spent time in a senior community offering respite care for seniors, it may be easier to point out the benefits of permanent residence. But moving can still be a significant change, even for those who welcome getting the help they need.
Family involvement can make adjusting easier and help ensure parents or grandparents begin to enjoy their new life. According to Psychology Today, relatives must show empathy and acknowledge that seniors have made a difficult life decision. It’s essential to be respectful.
Communities provide an initial assessment that determines each resident’s care plan. Family members should be present at this meeting so they understand the plan and can be involved.
Get to Know the Staff
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care says it’s wise for family members to know the caregivers who will see their family members daily. The process can begin as soon as a relative moves to a community offering assisted living in Sun City, AZ. For example, during the initial assessment tell staff members your parent’s or grandparent’s story.
Become familiar with the staff. Learn their names and roles and resident care responsibilities. Find out who the key staff members are.
Knowing the caregivers is crucial. Introduce yourself to the administrator, Director of Social Services, and Director of Dietary Services. Make it a point to develop relationships with caregivers because they provide direct hands-on resident care.
Visit Your Family Member
Family visits are often important to retirement community residents. Seeing relatives helps keep families close. It also has essential benefits for those receiving memory care services since socialization is a strong type of mental stimulation.
If you visit regularly, you will become a welcome visitor by remaining on good terms with the staff. Family members keep residents’ spirits up and many volunteers when it’s time for activities. For instance, some visitors assist residents by pushing their wheelchairs to activities or meals.
However, it’s critical to respect the staff’s time and routine. While you have every right to ask questions, caregivers are busy and may have little time for long conversations or small talk. Advocating for your loved one is essential, but avoid interfering with caregivers’ responsibilities.
It’s also wise to keep visits to a reasonable length. Spending a quality hour or two with a family member allows you to ensure their needs are met, but it is not so long that you become a nuisance.
Find Ways to Stay in Touch
Consider arranging a weekly family get-together that lets everyone catch up and enjoy time together. Communities typically have large gathering areas ideal for conversations and playing games.
If you don’t live nearby and can’t just drop in any time, think about making time on weekends, holidays, or vacations. When in-person visits are difficult, you can connect virtually using a phone, tablet, or computer.
Use photo apps such as Flickr or Google Photos to share images of family life. Whether you live close or far away, sharing photos ensures seniors don’t miss a thing.
Seniors can often familiarize themselves with and enjoy technology, so take advantage of that. Send texts and schedule video calls with multiple family members.
Letters are also welcome. Younger people may consider them low-tech, but getting a letter can brighten a senior’s day and let them know you are thinking about them.
Involve Seniors in Your Special Events
When planning special events such as weddings, graduations, and birthdays, include family members in senior communities. Take the time to call or visit on special occasions, so parents or grandparents feel included. It’s essential to stay in touch during the holidays when many people feel down and alone.
When an older relative can no longer live alone, moving to a senior community can improve their quality of life, especially if their families support them. Families can do that by visiting and staying in touch when they can’t show up in person. It’s also essential to keep seniors involved in family life and events.
The Gardens of Sun City is a senior living community in Sun City, AZ. The vibrant community offers respite care, assisted living, and memory care. A dedicated staff is committed to providing residents with the care they need to live their best lives.