How Often Should You Visit a Parent in Assisted Living?

A parent moving to a retirement community is a big change, not just for them but for the entire family. One of the most common questions adult children ask is, ‘How often should I visit a parent in Assisted Living?’

The truth is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Every situation is different depending on the size and proximity of your family, your outside responsibilities, and the desires of your parent.

Assisted Living is designed to provide a vibrant environment where your parent can combat loneliness, engage in meaningful activities, and find a strong support system. This naturally reduces the pressure on you, the adult child, allowing for less frequent visits than when they were living alone. With fewer caregiving responsibilities, you can renew your relationship and shift your role back to being their child.

Together, we’ll explore the key factors that influence visit frequency, helping you find the perfect balance that comforts your parent and maintains a healthy connection for you both. We’ll also delve into some tips for making the most of your visits, ensuring quality time that strengthens your bond. 

Your Parent’s Needs

The first step in figuring out the right visitation schedule is understanding your parent’s specific situation. Here’s a breakdown of some key areas:

Medical Needs

If your parent has ongoing health conditions or requires regular medication management, they might need more frequent visits. This way, you can monitor their well-being, lend a hand with appointments, and give them the time and attention they need for a better quality of life.

Community Engagement

Is your parent busy participating in the activities and social life offered in Assisted Living? Communities like The Commons at Central Baptist Village offer robust activity and event calendars, creating abundant opportunities for connection and enjoyment. 

This makes your visits a wonderful addition to their already fulfilling lifestyle. The more comfortable your loved one is engaging with their community, the more confident you’ll feel with fewer visits than when they first moved into Assisted Living.

Emotional Needs

Assisted Living can be a significant adjustment, and some seniors may initially feel isolated or a bit lonely. More frequent visits in the beginning stages can offer crucial companionship and emotional support, helping them feel more connected and reassured. 

Cognitive Decline

If your parent is experiencing memory problems or cognitive decline, regular visits are typically very helpful. It helps your mom or dad maintain a sense of routine and familiarity while providing emotional support whenever needed.

Tip: Having open conversations with your loved one’s care team is also essential. They can provide invaluable insights into your parent’s daily needs, adjustments to their routine, and any changes that might call for more frequent visits.

Your Physical Distance From the Community

The physical distance between you and your parent’s Assisted Living community naturally plays a role in how often you can visit. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Travel Time

If you live close enough for short, convenient trips, it’s definitely easier to make those visits more frequent. However, longer commutes might require more careful planning and scheduling. 

Travel Cost

Consider the financial implications of regular travel. Whether using your own car, public transportation, or other services, these costs add up. Be realistic about what your budget allows when deciding on visit frequency.

Tip: If distance is a significant factor, try exploring alternative ways to stay connected. Video calls, phone chats, or sending letters and care packages can bridge the gap and maintain a strong bond even if in-person visits are less frequent.

Your Weekly Availability

It’s crucial to be honest with yourself about your capacity for visits. Trying to squeeze in too many can lead to burnout, ultimately affecting the quality of your time with your loved one. Here’s what to consider:

Work Schedule

Be realistic about how much free time you have after work. If your schedule is demanding, you might find that shorter, more frequent visits work better than longer, less frequent ones.

Family Obligations

If you have children, a partner, or other family members relying on you, factor that in. Aim for a balance between those responsibilities and spending quality time with your parent in Assisted Living.

Your Well-Being

Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally is essential. If you’re stretched thin, temporarily adjusting your visit frequency may be beneficial to allow yourself time to recharge.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If siblings, other relatives, or trusted friends live nearby, see if they can be added to the visiting rotation. This lightens your load and ensures your loved one receives regular visits.

woman visiting her father in assisted living

What Does “Frequent” Really Mean?

In the context of visiting a parent in Assisted Living, “frequent” is a relative term.

The most important thing is finding a rhythm that feels sustainable for you while still providing your loved one with the love and support they need. Communication is key! Have honest conversations with your parent about their expectations and adjust the visit schedule in a way that works for the entire family. 

5 Tips for Making the Most of Every Visit

Regardless of how often you visit, focusing on quality interactions makes all the difference. Here are some ways to ensure your time together is meaningful and enjoyable for both you and your parent:

  1. Be present: Put away your phone and other distractions. Give your loved one your undivided attention. This simple act shows them how much you value being there with them.
  1. Focus on connection: Engage in activities you both enjoy. Whether it’s going for a walk, listening to music, sharing old photos, or simply having a conversation, prioritize the connection itself.
  1. Listen attentively: Sometimes your parent may just need someone to listen. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings and offer your genuine support and understanding.
  1. Embrace flexibility: Be prepared for changes in your parent’s energy levels or mood. Adjust your plans accordingly. Sometimes, the best visits are those where you simply sit quietly together and enjoy each other’s company.
  1. Include others: If appropriate, invite siblings, grandchildren, or close friends to join a visit. This creates a sense of normalcy for your parent and allows their loved ones to be part of their support system.

Remember: Even short visits filled with warmth and genuine connection can be deeply meaningful. It’s less about the quantity of time and more about the quality of those moments you share.

woman visiting her mother in assisted living at central baptist village

Discover Where Each Story Unfolds into a Vibrant Retirement

The decision about Assisted Living is deeply personal. Seeing a community first-hand provides invaluable insights that go beyond any website or brochure. At The Commons at Central Baptist Village, we believe in the power of personal experience. 

From the friendly smiles that greet you to the vibrant energy that fills the air, a visit lets you witness the warmth and support that defines our community. Whether you’re exploring options for a loved one or yourself, we invite you to schedule a personalized tour to see for yourself what sets Central Baptist apart. We can’t wait to welcome you!