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How Often Should You Visit a Parent in Assisted Living?

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A loving daughter hugging her older adult mother during her visit.

For those with parents and loved ones in assisted living, balancing your own life with the responsibility of care can be a delicate challenge. It’s not just about the practical aspects of care or the occasional visit—it’s about being a reliable presence in the life of someone who shaped yours.

When it comes to showing care for parents in assisted living, the frequency of visits can be a source of considerable thought and sometimes even guilt. To visit too little could imply neglect, yet to visit too much might lean towards smothering your loved ones—not to mention overloading your schedule.

Every family is different, and some loved ones appreciate frequent visits while others enjoy time together less often. Communication with your loved one and trial and error will help you find a natural rhythm for visiting loved ones in a senior living community.

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The Importance of Regular Visits

Transitioning to assisted living can be a significant, sometimes necessary, change for parents who once took care of everything for their family. The shift can be fraught with emotional upheaval, from feelings of loss and dependence to a lack of control. 

Adult children, in this context, become not just visitors but emotional anchors—a tangible reminder of family ties and love that transcends distance and circumstance.

Visiting your parents in assisted living isn’t just about maintaining familial duties—it’s a critical component of their mental and emotional well-being. Regular visits can serve as a beacon of reassurance, fostering a sense of connection with one’s family. It can alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can be common among senior adults.

Moreover, your presence lets you keep a pulse on your parent’s day-to-day experiences, helping keep them content and well-cared for.

Monitoring Health & Care Quality

Consistent visits serve a practical purpose as well. You’re in a unique position to observe and assess your loved one’s health and the quality of care they receive. 

You might pick up on subtle clues about their overall well-being simply because you know them best. If there are any concerns, your regular face-to-face interactions can help ensure that any issues are brought to your attention and addressed swiftly.

Factors to Consider for Visiting

Deciding on the right frequency of visits requires a balance of thoughtful self-assessment alongside the practicalities of your life and responsibilities.

Distance from Their Assisted Living Community

The proximity to your loved one’s assisted living residence is often a significant determinant of how often you can visit. For those who live nearby, weekly or bi-weekly visits might be feasible. However, frequent visits could be more challenging for those who live farther away.

Your Parent’s Health & Preferences

Your loved one’s health will play a significant role in determining how often you should visit. Older adults with health challenges or limited mobility may value more frequent visits. Similarly, their personal preferences should be considered—do they desire company often, or do they cherish their independence and solitude?

Your Family Dynamics & Support System

The support system within your family, such as your siblings and other relatives, can help provide more frequent visits for loved ones in assisted living. Establishing communication and a routine that meets your parent’s social needs is crucial to avoiding family conflicts over visitation responsibilities.

Suggested Visiting Schedules

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how often one should visit a parent in assisted living. The key lies in setting a cadence that works for both you and your parents.

Weekly Visits

For those who can manage it, weekly visits can offer a consistent and reassuring presence. It also helps keep you in the loop of your loved one’s life and maintain the strength of your bond. 

Bi-weekly or Monthly Visits

If weekly visits aren’t possible, bi-weekly or monthly visits can still provide a stable presence. These extended visits also tend to be more substantial, allowing for quality time together.

Special Occasions & Holidays

Never underestimate the significance of being with your loved one on special occasions and holidays. These moments can create a deep emotional connection that often carries through the time between visits. 

Tips for Making the Most of Visits

Regardless of frequency, the quality of time spent together and the connections made are what truly counts. Here are some tips for keeping your visits meaningful for you and your parents.

Quality Time Over Quantity

Make each visit count. Engage in activities your loved one enjoys, whether that means sharing a meal or participating in their assisted living community’s events. Having quality discussions and creating positive experiences together can make each visit memorable.

A man visiting his older adult father with his young son; all of them are having a fun time watching TV.

Involve Other Family Members

Encourage other family members to join in on visits or take turns visiting. Not only can this offer your loved one a broader familial network, but it can also create opportunities for your family to come together, even during difficult circumstances.  

Communication with Staff

Developing a rapport with the staff at your loved one’s assisted living community can help ensure that your parent’s social and personal needs are met in your absence. It’s a partnership that can significantly enhance your parent’s day-to-day well-being.

Find Your Loved One’s New Home at Fairview Senior Living

While there is no definitive answer to the right frequency of visits, your efforts to visit regularly can speak volumes of your commitment to family. Ultimately, it’s about balance—finding the right amount of time to be present in your parent’s life while continuing to live your own. At Fairview Senior Living, we leave your visiting schedule up to you because each family knows themselves best. Contact us to tour our community to see how we can support your loved one.

Still early in considering assisted living for your loved one? Take our free and anonymous survey for personalized results in 4 minutes or less:

Written by Fairview Senior Living

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