Day-to-day activities may prevent you from seeing your elderly loved one as often as you would like, but you should still find time to visit. Regular visits can help enhance your loved one’s overall health and perhaps even increase their longevity.
This article is part of my “Importance of Elders” series that features 50+ articles on keeping seniors and the elderly happy and healthy so that we can have them in our lives longer. See the entire series here.
Top 5 Reasons Why It Is Important to Visit the Elderly Regularly
Here’s why you should take the time to visit with your elderly loved ones.
Shows You Care
It might seem obvious, and you may naturally assume that your elderly loved one already knows how much you care for and love them.
Visiting them, however, gives you the opportunity to show them affection and serves as a reminder that you truly care about their well-being. It shows that you are willing to take time out of your schedule to stay connected to them.
Giving your elderly loved one your physical presence is usually one of the most meaningful things you can do for them.
Check Up on their Health
When you visit your elderly loved one, you can evaluate their overall physical and emotional health. You can take note of anything about them that may have changed since your last visit.
Are they showing signs of memory loss or depression? Are they taking the right medications and maintaining a healthy diet?
You will have the chance to listen carefully to any problems or complaints that your loved one might be having so that you can ensure that they are addressed promptly.
Improves Memory Recall
Conversations, music, home videos, and photos can prompt nostalgia that reminds both you and your elderly loved ones of particularly happy memories. This is particularly beneficial to those struggling with memory loss or dementia.
Furthermore, you will have the chance to create new memories through shared experiences with the senior, from outings and holiday parties to activities as simple as eating together or taking a stroll.
Boosts Cognitive Health
Spending time with your elderly loved one also has significant benefits to their physical, emotional, and mental health.
Social isolation and loneliness often lead to cognitive decline, increased rates of infection, as well as mortality. If you visit and spend time with your elderly loved one, however, you will boost their social and emotional engagement and it helps keep loneliness away.
Elderly people don’t like to feel like a burden on their loved ones, which is why they usually never ask for frequent visits or assistance with daily activities.
Still, it is important for them to have regular contact with their loved ones, regardless of whether the visits are short or long. Showing gratitude, appreciation, and love could boost your elderly loved one’s physical and mental health.
Tips For Making the Most of Your Visit
If you want your visit to be fruitful, here are 3 things you can do:
Listen More, Talk Less
Your elderly loved one had a rich, colorful life.
Sit down, hold their hand, look them in the eyes and listen to what they have to say. Keep in mind that your loved one may be isolated and not have an audience.
So, plan several probing questions to get the conversation started.
Expect Your Buttons to be Pushed
Your elderly loved one may no longer have the filters they had in the past. Simply put, they may be blunt with you and say things that they may have sugar-coated in the past. So, you should go into the visit expecting to have some emotional sensitivity.
Give Them an Arrival Time
It is always advisable to schedule your visits ahead of time. It does not mean that you must have a set time each week or month, but you should always let them know that you will be visiting. It will give them something to look forward to.
Visiting your elderly loved one is a great idea since it not only helps break up the routine of their daily activities, but also helps keep them connected to the world around them. If possible, make weekly or monthly visits.
Ensure that you spend quality time with your elderly loved one, listen to what they have to say, and be affectionate. Always remember that your visit is a reminder of just how much you care for them, especially when they have entered this new phase of their life.