Family members and friends of assisted living residents may visit anytime, and some do so on a regular basis. There is really no limit to what visitors can do: they can have a meal in the community dining room, they can participate in group activities (trivia, arts & crafts, concerts), they can visit with other residents with whom they have developed a relationship, or they can go directly to their senior loved one’s apartment or suite and have a private visit there, never interacting with anyone else. Sometimes, visitors may even come to pick up loved ones and transport them to family events, doctor’s appointments, or for a shopping trip, among other things.
While the possibilities are essentially endless, the procedure for signing in and signing out varies by assisted living community. Even if there is no formal sign-out sheet, being a good visitor means letting the person in charge (director of nursing or equivalent staff member) know when you’ll be taking your loved one out for errands or a day/overnight trip, in case there are medications needed and to notify the dining staff if a meal will be missed.
Good visitors are respectful of the staff’s responsibilities, recognizing they must serve a number of people with diverse needs every day and every night (your loved one isn’t the only person they must care for, in other words). If it is necessary to bring an issue of concern to light, do so constructively. Say thank you and give compliments often when you see quality care and services being provided.