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Six Ways You Can "Assist" A Loved One in Assisted Living

By: Inter Valley Health Plan

Although most assisted living homes do a great job of caring for residents, they may lack the extra attention that a family member or close friend would give. You can help to make assisted living a more enjoyable experience by spending time with them, and helping with tasks that are no longer easy to perform.

1-Lunch or Dinner Companion
Assisted living centers try hard to provide nutritious and tasty meals for their residents, but may become routine. Taking your loved one to lunch or dinner can be a wonderful break and can help to spark their appetite. Pizza, pasta, Chinese food, or even fast food entrees can be a nice change from meals offered at the assisted living home.

2 –Transportation for Errands
Seniors may need assistance performing small but necessary errands like a trip to the post office, a stop to pick up greeting cards for friends and family, or a visit to the local drug store to pick up personal items. These small errands can make someone feel independent and engaged in daily activities that we may take for granted. By being their transportation and companion for these errands, you can help to make their world brighter.

3 -Escort for Movie or Theater Outing
Residents in assisted living often miss activities such as going to the movies or attending a theater show. You can provide an afternoon of entertainment and enjoyment by purchasing some tickets and taking them to an event. It's not difficult to pack up a walker or wheelchair, and you are likely to get assistance from the staff of the event.

4 -Medical Care Advocate
When visiting your loved one, it's always a good idea to do a thorough cursory assessment of their physical condition. Make note of issues, such as weight loss, personal grooming or changes in mental condition. Any significant changes should be a reason for alerting the director or social services advocate at the home. You may find that your loved-one may require a change of medication or a physical examination to determine the source of the problem.

5 - Companion for Outdoor Activities
Frailty or physical limitations may keep seniors indoors for long periods of time, although they may be nature-lovers at heart. Getting away for a while can be a great way to help a senior to refresh their thinking, attitude and physical health. The outing may be to a local park or beach area, where they can comfortably sit and enjoy communing with nature. In addition, you can take some photographs for them to enjoy in times that getting outdoors is not available.

6 - Shopping Partner
Increasing physical limitations may make it difficult for some to get out to a shopping mall or other venue, although they may still maintain an interest in clothing styles and looking attractive. Many assisted living centers offer trips to large discount stores, but getting on buses and getting around the store may be too much for loved ones to do on their own. You can help them indulge this impulse by taking them to the mall for an afternoon of shopping. Your assistance and supervision can make it a safe and productive trip that boosts self-esteem and mood.

Your loved one may have additional ideas for spending an afternoon away from the assisted living facility. Spend some time brainstorming with them about what they would like to do, and you will find a wealth of ideas for helping them to enjoy their golden years.

Article From Inter Valley Health Plan


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