The Cottages Blog
You have made the decision and have gone through the motions of moving Mom into her new assisted living community. Now, you are wondering how often you should visit her. Chances are, even if she was the one who pushed for the move, she is now feeling a little apprehensive about her new environment, and you both know that visits from you can help with the anxiety of being in a new place surrounded by new people. So how often should you visit Mom? Some people will tell you not to visit too much, and others will tell you to visit all the time. The truth is simply that you should visit enough–enough for Mom and enough for you. Every person is different and has different needs. If you visit too much, will Mom miss socializing with other residents? If you don’t visit enough, will she feel abandoned by or angry with her family? These are normal questions and concerns to ask yourself, and the only way that you can get your answers is through communication. Talk to Mom. Sit down with Mom and decide on a schedule that works best for the both of you. If Mom asks you to visit every day, suggest maybe every other day. If Mom says you only need to visit once a month, tell her you would prefer visiting weekly or every other week. Come to a compromise and agree to stick to it so long as it continues to work well for the two of you. Be supportive. Your support is what matters the most. Moving is stressful. Even if Mom really wanted to make this move, she may still be anxious and uncomfortable about fitting into her new environment. When the two of you discuss your visiting schedule, first ask Mom what she wants and what she feels she needs. The two of you can figure your schedule out from there. You do not have to give her all of your time, but some of your time will be greatly appreciated. It is possible that Mom will want you to visit more often in the very beginning, right after her move. Later, once she is comfortable, she might not ask it of you as much. This is normal and it is a good sign that she is getting to know other residents and settling into her surroundings. Mom might ask to change your visiting schedule to less frequent visits because she has a new group that she has started meeting with, or maybe she has scheduled a time to go on a walk around the building with new friends a few days a week. Support her newfound comfort in her new home. Finally, remember that visiting is not the only way that you and Mom can communicate. Tell Mom that you are available by phone, text, video chat, or email whenever you are not there. Knowing that you are just a few clicks away will remind her that you are always close, even when you are not right by her side. In today’s technological age, we are all so incredibly easily accessible. Buy Mom a cell phone, or a computer, or both if she needs them to keep in touch with you. Help her learn how to use it during one of your visits. You are never too old to learn something new, especially when learning means being able to keep in touch with your loved ones with just the click of a button.