Stroke survivors often get to the stage in life where it makes sense to enter an assisted living facility. It may be age, or the disabilities emanating from the stroke, or a combination. Still it takes some time for some to adjust to their new surroundings. Caregivers can play a role in the transition. The caregivers can be spouses or partners, but often are children of the survivor. And in some situations, they maybe long-time friends.
These communities can be a blessing for older adults, but many seniors find themselves feeling a bit isolated at times, particularly when they are the “new kid on the block”. This is especially true if their friends and family members live far away. Maintaining a social life and having interactions with people they enjoy spending time with can help seniors feel more active and vital, which can, in turn, have a tremendous effect on their overall quality of life. And, help with their stroke recovery. If your loved one is spending time in an assisted living community, it’s important to find meaningful ways to engage with them. And that engagement will be good for you both.
The good news is that it’s not difficult to find activities your loved one will enjoy. They might like something as simple as having a chat over some tea and cookies, or they may want to watch a favorite movie or go for a walk. Sometimes, the smallest things can make a big difference in the life of a senior. Think about what your loved one always enjoyed doing when they were younger or in their own home and how you might bring it to them now.
Set Up Some Entertainment
If your loved one enjoys watching movies and television shows, consider setting up some inexpensive entertainment options for them with an affordable streaming stick. As long as they have a WIFI connection available and a compatible TV, they can choose from thousands of shows and movies to watch spanning across decades of releases.
Start a Book Club
Books are a unique treasure because they allow the reader to travel without ever leaving the room. They can be hugely beneficial for seniors in keeping their minds sharp, as well, so consider starting a book club where you both read the same title and meet to discuss it. You can invite other family members or seniors living in the community to join, and it’s a great chance for your loved one to get social and feel that they are a part of something.
Learn Something New Together
Learning something new with someone you love is a great way to bond and it can strengthen your brain function, so think of a few fun things you’d both like to try. You might watch a painting tutorial and learn how to create a landscape on canvas, or take a cooking class that will teach you how to bake and frost the perfect chocolate cake. These days, there are so many options for learning via technology that your loved one won’t have to leave their home, which is perfect for seniors who have mobility issues.
Excursions You Can Take Together
Assisted Living Communities often have day or half day trips available for their residents. They might be short shopping trips or to a local entertainment performance. You will not have to worry about driving, or directions. You can just enjoy the time you spend together, as well as whatever the excursion is about. That’s a really easy to bond, and convenient for all.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to a community, and if you can find a way to include your senior loved one, it will be a great activity for the two of you to engage in together and it provides a mental health boost for you both! Whether you want to find a church-related event or give your time to the less fortunate, there are plenty of options to choose from. Do some research to find out how you and your loved one can make a difference in your community. Again, the caregiver may play a role. You also might inquire if the community where you are living has partnerships with any non-profits who are looking for volunteers. You will likely be especially welcomed.
Spending meaningful time with a senior loved one can be challenging when they are in an assisted living community, but it doesn’t have to be a barrier. Think about the best ways for the two of you to have fun and how it might benefit them in the long run. With some creativity, you and your loved one can have a blast while making some beautiful memories together.
Life goes on after a stroke and these facilities may be very beneficial for both the stroke survivor, their caregiver partner and the caring family as a whole.
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