Family Visits EmbassyVisiting your loved one in assisted living is a wonderful thing. They will likely love every minute of your visit no matter what you do, but here are some tips to make the most of your time together and maximize the positive impact.

Tip #1. Treat your loved one and other residents with respect.
It can be easy to slip into a parenting-like role when visiting someone in an assisted living community. Speak to your loved one as an adult, and avoid condescension at all costs. Your loved one deserves your love and respect, regardless of their health status or living situation.

Also, be open to chatting with other residents. Many don't receive regular visitors, and they may be eager to speak with you. Sharing your time with can mean the world to someone who doesn't have many family or friends.

Tip #2. Plan your visits.

Not only will planning your visits help you maintain your relationship, it gives your loved one something to look forward to! It also allows them to plan for the visit and shows you respect their time and activities.

Tip #3. Listen.
Your loved one may have a lot to share about their activities, friends, books, and TV shows. Stay focused on them and their stories. You won't have these opportunities forever, so cherish them.

Tip #4. Don't forget the kids!
Children can liven up a visit. The joy and exuberance they bring will make a lasting impression on your loved one and the other residents. Plus, you will be teaching your children about the aging process and how to show respectful behavior toward the elderly. Make sure to prepare your children for the experience. Let them know about any unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells they may encounter at an assisted living community and advise them on appropriate responses.

Tip #5 Go on adventures frequently.
If you loved one can't travel independently, an outing may be a welcome change. Take them to a favorite restaurant, park, museum, or other attraction. Simply going for a drive to get ice cream can also make their day. Not only do these outings give you a chance to visit one-on-one, it also gives your loved one a sense of identity and connection to the area outside of their assisted living community. An adventure will boost their sense of well-being and help create variety in their routine.

Tip #6. Keep your date.
The most important tip to remember is to show up when you say you will. Breaking plans can make your loved one feel isolated and abandoned. If you must reschedule, give them the same courtesy you would give others: call ahead and reschedule.