Children may get bored or have behavior problems at assisted living facilities if they're not properly prepared for the experience. Before you bring your children to a facility to see your relative, it's important to establish rules, tell them what to expect, and make a plan so that your children will have something to do while you're there. These tips will help make it less stressful to visit your relative in the assisted living facility with your kids.
Establish Ground Rules
Typically, an assisted living facility is a quiet and peaceful place where older adults can live safely with their peers. Children who are not given any ground rules are likely to be disruptive to this quiet environment and can even cause injuries. Talk to your kids before visiting to discuss the rules of basic courtesy. For example:
No running in the hallways.
Speak politely to adults.
No rambunctious behavior.
Go over these rules multiple times with your children when you're discussing your visit to the facility so your kids will know how to behave when they arrive. Sometimes assisted living facilities will have rules about juvenile visitors as well. Find out in advance if the facility where you're bringing your kids has any rules that your children should know about and inform your children before your arrival.
Talk About What to Expect
Many children will behave better and will be easier to control when they know what to expect. If your relative's move to the assisted living facility has been fairly recent, get the discussion going by talking about where and why your relative has moved.
If you plan to spend the majority of the time in your relative's apartment, talk about the apartment and the kind of activities that they'll be doing while they're there. If your children are old enough to have a conversation with your older relative, suggest some talking points to make the visit more satisfying for your children and for your relative.
Bring Something Quiet for Your Children to Do
There's probably not a lot to keep young children occupied in your relative's apartment. So you should bring something from home that can prevent your children from making a mess or getting into things that they shouldn't be getting into. The ideal thing to bring is something that your children and your older relative can enjoy together, like a board game.
Coloring books, picture books, and markers are also good options. If your children have a tablet or a portable DVD player to watch, you can bring these things as well, but be wary of giving them to your children right away. Let your children and your older relative interact with one another before allowing your children to engage in screen time.
Many younger children will start to lose self control if they become hungry, but your older relative may not have food in the apartment that your children can eat. Bring snacks like granola bars and fruit to help ensure that your children will have something to satisfy their hunger if the visit goes on past their meal time.
Bring Your Children for a Facility-Lead Activity
A lot of assisted living facilities will put on activities that are meant to be fun for children and adults. These activities are especially common around the holidays. If possible, find out when these activities are taking place and bring your children for an activity to help them feel included.
Want more information about bringing your child to a visit to the assisted living facility? The staff at Haven Homes Assisted Living of Stow would be happy to answer your questions and make suggestions! To find out more about visiting your relative, contact us today.