How to Manage Visits with Your Aging or Ailing Loved One
The time you spend with aging relatives is important and valuable. Plan your visits ahead of time to make sure everything goes well and you will feel satisfied that you made the most of every moment.
Feel free to use your visit as a time to evaluate how your loved one is functioning independently, and look for signs that they might need assistance managing daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, or driving.
Pay attention to the state of your loved one’s house. Is it clean and organized? Are any trip or fall hazards? Ishe kitchen well stocked with nutritious food?
If you notice any room for improvement, find a good time to bring the discussion up with your loved one in a gentle manner. Ask if they might like assistance with cooking, cleaning, or other chores to make daily life a little less stressful.
Many families hire in-home caregivers to assist aging family members to allow them to retain their independent living status. There is no shame in asking for a little help. At Caring Home Care, we take pride in matching families with the perfect caregiver.
Do Something Fun
Talk with your loved one before your visit, and ask what he or she would like to do when you’re there.
You might go for a walk in the neighborhood, have lunch at a favorite restaurant or visit an interesting local venue. If you prefer to stay home, or your loved one isn’t mobile enough for a long outing, consider cooking a favorite meal together or watching a movie you both enjoy.
Listen and Empathize
Get rid of distractions when you’re visiting your relative, and take time to really listen to what he or she has to say.
Be patient and understanding when he or she expresses frustrations or becomes upset, and offer sympathetic words or solutions when it seems appropriate. Focus on being understanding instead of trying to fix every problem, and let your loved one know that there is always help available whether it comes directly from the family or a professional caregiver.
If You’re the Caregiver, Ask Others to Call First
Managing visits when you’re a caregiver allows other friends and family members to come and go without overwhelming your loved one.
Make it clear you’d appreciate a call or text message prior to any visits so that you don’t get interrupted in the middle of your caregiving routine and the house doesn’t fill up with people. This is especially important if your aging relative is dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia and needs time to adjust to changes in routine.
You never know how much time you have left to spend with a loved one. Use every moment wisely, and enjoy making new memories you’ll treasure in the years to come.