Two Powerful Reasons You Should Avoid Visiting TOO Often When Mom First Settles into an Assisted Living Facility
When your elderly mother is first moving to assisted living, she may be worried. She might be scared. She may even have that familiar homesick feeling most of us have experienced, usually in our younger years.
Expect that. It doesn’t mean that she should come home right away or you should change your plans, because assisted living is a great option for elderly men and women who either no longer wish to maintain their own home or have certain physical needs, such as having difficulty getting out of bed some mornings because of arthritis or other conditions.
What happens when your mother first moves in?
Maybe what happens with so many other seniors who choose assisted living and move in for the first time. They may call or want you to visit often. There are a couple of great, powerful reasons why you should avoid visiting too often or calling her too much when she is first settling into assisted living.
First, she may wait in her room for your visits.
Or calls. If she is waiting in a room for you, either for a phone call or visitation, she is not getting out and exploring the assisted living facility. She is not getting to discover the various activities and amenities they provide and offer.
Also, she is not taking the opportunity to meet other seniors who are now her neighbors. Many residents of these assisted living facilities are outgoing, friendly and engaging.
They want to meet other seniors. They especially want to meet seniors who share common interests. Your mother might very well have a number of interests in common with other elderly residents of this assisted living community.
Unfortunately, if she is expecting your call or your visit on a daily or multiple times a day situation, she won’t likely be out there getting to meet some of these wonderful people.
Second, limiting visitation and calls will help empower her.
If you’re constantly calling to check in on her, what does that say to her subconsciously? That she can’t do this by herself, doesn’t it? That’s one of the side effects of too many calls and visitations.
However, if you limit the calls or visits to just a couple of times a week or, at most, one call in the morning and one call in the evening, it shows her that she is still strong and independent.
It lets her know that she can do this because you have that faith in her.
When people are calling constantly to check and make sure everything is okay, it has its underlying meaning that the senior isn’t able to do this on their own, but the family member, the adult child or sibling or somebody else has to constantly make sure they are okay.
But, when you limit those phone calls and visits, you are actually empowering her so she knows she can do this. When she knows she can do this, she will quickly become much more comfortable in her new surroundings, and that is a wonderful gift you can offer her at this time.