For families with loved ones in assisted living communities, it's important to visit them regularly to maintain a strong family bond, make new memories, and monitor their health and happiness. When visiting your parents in a senior community, you may be tempted to leave your kids at home with a babysitter, in fear that they will be bored or disruptive to staff and other residents. Though children can get rowdy, their energy and presence will bring joy to your loved one and others at the community. To ensure a successful visit, follow our helpful tips:
- Set Expectations. Before your visit, make sure your children know what to expect and how to behave when visiting the senior living community. For instance, explain that there are more strict rules, such as no yelling or running, which may have be permitted when visiting their grandparents at home. Also, be sure they understand to be careful around medical equipment, which may be located in the common areas of the community or in your loved one's room.
- Bring Entertainment. As all parents know, it's common for kids to get bored or rambunctious if they're not constantly entertained. Be prepared for this kind of behavior and bring fun things your child can do with their grandparent. Bring along games, such as bingo or cards, as well as books or crafts they can enjoy together. If the weather's nice, you can enjoy some of our favorite springtime activities, found here. Also pack some snacks, like pretzels, carrots, or fruit, in case your child gets hungry during the visit.
- Make It a Routine. If possible, make your visits to the assisted living community a routine. Whether you visit once a week or twice a month, your children and parents will enjoy spending time with each other on a regular basis. It will give everyone something special to look forward to. And, the more you visit, the more your children will be accustomed to the community.
These are our top tips for visiting assisted living communities with kids. What other advice do you have?