Why You Should Not Visit Someone in Assisted Living When You’re Sick (and What to Do Instead)
Cold and flu season is officially here in the Midwest, which means many of us are, not only shivering, but also sniffling, sneezing, and maybe even a little feverish. As important as it is to regularly visit loved ones in assisted living (especially during the cold, dark months of winter), you aren’t doing them any favors by visiting them if you’re sick, so we have some very good reasons you should stay away from the assisted living community if you’re sick, and what you can do instead.
Compromised Immune Systems
As we age, our immune systems weaken and it becomes harder for us to fight off disease, including the common cold and flu. While we don’t doubt that your loved one is happy to see you no matter how you look or feel, they’ll appreciate your visit less if they come down with the same bug a few days later.
Not only does a compromised immune system mean that our aging loved ones are more likely to get sick, it also means that their illnesses tend to be much more serious because their bodies are less able to fight off the disease. Something we might be able to bounce back from after a few days could easily send your loved one to the hospital, so when we recommend staying away from assisted living communities when you’re sick, it’s not a trivial matter.
What to Do Instead
1. Use Technology
Just because you can’t come visit, doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with your loved one. You can buy them a tablet and install Facetime, Zoom, or Google Hangout so you can chat with them face-to-face.
If screens intimidate your loved one, use technology with which they’re comfortable. Pick up the phone and call them. Spend as much time chatting with them over the phone as you can. It can’t make up for not seeing your face or giving you a hug, but you might be surprised at the power of hearing the voice of someone you love and spending the time to catch up. It can do wonders to help them feel connected and help you stay in the loop about what’s going on with them and how they’re feeling.
2. Send a Card
If all else fails, send a card. It’s all about that personal touch, and the next best thing to getting a phone call from a loved one is getting mail. Just a quick, personal note to let them know what’s new with you and that you’re thinking of them can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to lifting the spirits of a loved one.
3. Rest Up
Finally, take care of yourself and rest up so you can visit your loved one again as soon as possible. Make sure you’re no longer contagious before you come for another visit, and when you do visit, be sure to wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water.
If you have any other questions about when and how to visit your loved one is assisted living, or if you want to know more about what we offer at Stillwater Senior Living, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.
CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.
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