Are you wondering how often to visit a loved one in an Adult Family Home?
This is a question often asked by family members when a spouse or an elderly parent or grandparent has recently moved into and Adult Family Home. It can be a tricky question to answer because individual needs will, of course, vary. When a family member first moves into a care facility there is a tendency to want to visit frequently. Feelings of guilt, fear or anxiety may cause loved ones to visit often during the first few months.
It is wise to think about how often you had been visiting prior to the move (look at the last three months), and look at how often you plan to visit on an ongoing basis. If you start visiting daily or several times a week once your senior is in their new home, it could have unintended consequences. They may become overly dependent on your visits, making it more difficult for them to adjust and become part of their new community.
When deciding how often to visit, keep in mind how often you intend to visit on a long- term basis. If, for example, you plan to visit once every two weeks, it would probably be best to start out at that frequency.
Remember that staff at senior care facilities are very skilled at managing transitions, and they are aware of the best ways to help a new resident integrate into life at the new home. You may want to ask the staff members what they recommend as the best way to ensure a smooth transition for your parent or loved one.
Please, keep in mind that visits should be based on the needs of the older adult, not on the needs of the family members. You may find that shorter visits are more helpful than longer ones. Many older folks do not have the stamina for long visits, and you may see a shift in their energy after 30 minutes or so. Take your cues from your loved one’s body language because they may be too polite to tell you they are getting tired, or they themselves may not recognize that they are getting worn out.
Visits from family and friends are extremely important to those living in care settings. So, be sure to visit and be sure to give it some thought in your planning that visit so that you are optimizing the time spent with your loved one.