Christmastime can be such a busy time of the year for everyone, but it is important to find time to visit with your loved one in Assisted Living.
While one of the many advantages of living in an Assisted Living center is the opportunity for residents to make new friends. This social interaction is important, but simply no replacement for family.
Why Family is Important
Maintaining active relationships with people they already have ties to helps confirm their sense of identity. It helps residents remember their past and that they are loved. Regardless of where they happen to live, seniors everywhere need this reassurance.
Tammy Reno, Human Resource Manager at Mercy Crest, says that “it means everything for [residents] to be with family. You can see the difference; they’ll say, ‘my family never comes to see me’. It’s just really important for their mental health.”
It’s been especially hard during the pandemic. Although Mercy Crest has done exceptionally well in keeping Covid cases down in the facility, family members still get sick. This means they have to postpone visits to keep everyone healthy. It still means a lot to for them to know that their family is trying to visit.
The Best Incentive to Stay Active
Knowing that their family has plans to come see them, to take them into town, to spend the holidays at someone’s home, can be the thought that keeps many of them active. We encourage our residents to keep up with their mobility. This provides them with stamina to go on these outings: walk up the front steps, hold the new great-grand baby. Family visits help prevent lethargy and sedentary lifestyles from creeping in. Studies show that active seniors tend to present as having lower levels of inflammation associated with age-related conditions: Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The Toll on Mental Health
The psychological impact is also worth mentioning. Many seniors still feel too nervous to interact with other residents in a new living space. It’s hard for some to break down those barriers, especially if they are naturally introverted. But socializing can reduce and mitigate depressive episodes and anxiety that usually stem from underlying loneliness. So it’s still important for them to spend time with those whom they are already comfortable with.
For all of these reasons and more, we strongly encourage family members to invite their loved one to their home this Christmas season.
If you are interested in performing, singing Christmas Carols, or doing any other volunteer work for our residents in our facility, please contact Amber Couch, Resident Liaison at Mercy Crest: firstname.lastname@example.org