Visits give us a chance to evaluate their health, safety and well-being.
Perhaps the most important reason to visit loved ones is the chance to check up on their happiness and health, and make sure nothing has changed of concern you since the last time we saw them. If your senior loved one lives alone, a visit can clue you in to any signs of self-neglect, if they are having trouble caring for themselves whether the issue is declining cognition, health or mobility. If they have home care assistance or live in senior housing, a visit is the perfect time to make sure their living situation is keeping them happy and healthy.
Visits with family can help bring back positive memories.
With of their life experiences, your grandparents have a library full of stories to tell. Some are faded memories, others clear as day, but those memories are stories they love to tell. Their children and grandchildren are their favorite audience. Nothing makes them happier than sharing stories from their childhood, adolescence, young adulthood and adulthood. Be it stories of their favorite schoolyard activities, time serving in the war or how they met their spouse, these stories bring them happiness – especially when someone is willing to listen. Even if they’re stories you’ve heard before, memories come and go, so you may be surprised to learn a little something new.
Visits help the elderly stay emotionally engaged.
You will learn a lot about life. Your grandparents have lived a long life. They’ve seen and done a lot of things. They know (perhaps more than your parents) exactly what you are going through, despite generational differences. It’s easy to think that your grandparents don’t know as much as you do, because you are more versed in the language of technology than they are. That simply isn’t true. Though technology may not be the easiest for them to learn, they know much more about life’s experience than you realize.
Grandparents can say things that parents can’t.
The relationship with your grandparents differs from the relationship with your own parents. We all hope we have open lines of communication with our children as they get older. I believe there are many ways to do this, and it’s not a given that teenagers go through a period where they don’t want to tell you anything. But still, there are times when a mother or father must simply stand back and trust they’ve given their child the tools to make wise choices. Any pushing may result in the exact opposite result. Grandparents, however, aren’t seen as the closest authority in your child’s lives and a grandparent can often tell your child something (maybe the exact same thing you would say) but it will be received. Simply because it’s not the parent saying it.