Today's assisted living communities are a far cry from the nursing homes of the past. Modern seniors are healthier and more active than ever before, and they require living situations that reflect their continued involvement with the world around them. Nonetheless, seniors sometimes feel isolated from family and friends no matter how many activities provided by their assisted living facility. Following are five ways that you can keep the senior in your life engaged with your family and the community.
Social media provides excellent ways for seniors to keep up on the latest happenings with family, community, and friends. Some seniors, however, are unsure of how to use computers. Check to see if the assisted living facility offers computer classes, and if not, you can probably find one at your local library or senior center. Social media is fairly easy to use, so even those with limited computer experience can get the hang of things pretty quickly.
Transportation to Church Services
Although most assisted living facilities offer transportation to medical appointments and shopping, their resources are frequently limited when it comes to social and community activities. Fortunately, most churches offer van services to and from worship services as well as to and from church-sponsored social events. If no official van is available, church members are often happy to provide those who need it with transportation.
Plan Scheduled Outings
Making future plans gives people something to look forward to. Instead of haphazardly spending time with your senior as your schedule permits, make a point of planning outings and activities in advance. For instance, if your senior is a music lover and your community parks and recreation department offers outdoor concerts during the summer, plan on attending these with a picnic basket and lawn chairs.
Involve the Grandkids
Those who are busy working and raising families sometimes have trouble finding time for the seniors in their lives, and this is where your kids can make a difference. Children love creating crafts, and grandparents naturally love receiving gifts made by little hands, so consider setting up a time each week for your kids to make cards from supplies such as construction paper and glitter to send to their grandparent or grandparents in assisted living.
Suggest a Furry Friend
Most assisted living communities allow residents to have pets, and evidence suggests that seniors with furry friends are happier and healthier than their petless counterparts. However, don't simply present your senior with a pet -- especially a puppy or a kitten. Seniors should be involved in the pet selection process, and older animals are much better suited than energetic youngsters.
For more tips about how to improve the quality of life for an elderly loved one, contact a local assisted living facility.