Tips for Winter Visits to Assisted Living

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 28 December 2012

Visiting a loved one in assisted living can be an emotionally painful experience for many different reasons. Sometimes, family members visit based on guilt, whether it’s guilt about the transition to assisted living and how it came about, or simply because they feel an obligation to go.

With snow, ice and frigid temperatures in the forecast, visiting may become even more of a challenge for some friends and relatives. However, that does not mean you should “take the winter off” and delay visits until the spring. Though activities like taking a walk, birdwatching on the patio, or gardening outdoors become nearly impossible in the winter, you can still walk the halls of the community, birdwatch from inside your loved one’s apartment, or cultivate a window garden indoors. Also, your visit — even if it’s just a simple afternoon chat over a cup of cocoa — may be the desperately needed bright spot in your loved one’s day or week.

Most assisted living communities offer opportunities for engagement year-round. If you’re out of ideas on what to do when you stop by, perhaps participating in an activity together will make your visit more meaningful and enjoyable. Doing so may even encourage your loved one to get involved in more programs on a regular basis, when you’re not there.

Read 10 Things to Do During An Assisted Living Visit for more ideas.


There are 2 Comments about this post

  1. Sarah says,

    Great post! Science has proven people are more depressed during the winter months. So continuing to visit is very important to our loved ones, you can even say it would help keep them healthy. Visit even if the only thing you can do with your loved one is “chat over a cup of cocoa”. By the way, it was a great tip you gave to participate (with your loved one) in an activity hosted by the assisted living facility. What a wonderful way to get them involved with the rest of the local living community.


    on 31 December 2012 / 9:53 AM

  2. Sarah, thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed reading the post and found the insights valuable. I agree — given the greater risk of depression during the winter months, continuing to visit can indeed improve a senior’s health. Glad you liked the tip of participating in the community-sponsored activity, or just the simple act of a chat over cocoa. I want people to remember that it doesn’t have to be hard work to visit the ones they love! Thanks for stopping by the blog and sharing your thoughts, Sarah.


    on 31 December 2012 / 10:06 AM


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