The first visit to an assisted living, independent living, or other senior care community can be overwhelming for those who are not familiar with this type of environment. Perhaps one of the most difficult settings in which to visit a loved one is an Alzheimer’s care facility.
Most communities offer a number of options for entertaining visitors; if the resident doesn’t have a private apartment with a living room, there are often common areas throughout the building available for resident use. If you want to bring food to celebrate your senior’s birthday or some other special occasion, you might be able to reserve a private dining area.
Generally, all visitors must sign in at the front desk before heading to the resident’s apartment or room. If needed, the receptionist can provide further detail or instructions on how to find the apartment/room, or even make a quick phone call inviting the resident to meet the guests in the lobby to walk together.
Remember, above all, that this is simply a new location. Whether it is a room in an Alzheimer’s care unit or an apartment in an assisted living community, it is still the place your loved one now calls home. Try to maintain a sense of normalcy by treating the visit the same way you would at their former residence. Read more about the importance of normalization here.