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Ways to brighten a senior loved one’s day

Finding the right senior living community means finding a place that just feels right. The right amount of socializing, the right number and type of activities, the right staff to make your loved one feel at home. But no matter how right the community feels, it’s still easy to feel a bit down when you’re away from family and old friends, even when you’re surrounded by new ones. If you’re looking for ways to make sure your loved one knows you’re thinking about them and stays upbeat even when you can’t be around, here are a few tips that might help:

Share a meal – Bring a home cooked favorite or take-out from a local restaurant to share. Or even join your loved one in the resident dining room for lunch or dinner. Your company is what matters most.

Go through photos and mementos together – Reminisce about fun family times while sorting through pictures or sentimental reminders of holidays or family trips. Take this time to learn more about your loved one’s childhood and family history, too.

Have a spa day – You don’t even have to leave the building to help your loved one feel relaxed and happy in their new home. Consider a hand massage and manicure or consider an upgrade to their shower with a comfortable bathing chair and some new sweet-smelling body wash. Add relaxing aromatherapy scents in their room like lavender, sandalwood, and bergamot, or make plans to visit the beauty parlor or barbershop for a fresh new haircut.

Bring nature inside – Research indicates that even the smallest exposure to nature can impact mental well-being. If your loved one has difficulty getting outside for walks, bring nature inside with cut flowers in a vase, a couple of low-maintenance house plants, or even a small windowsill herb garden. The smallest pop of greenery can add a positive touch to your senior loved one’s room. Attracting birds to a window-feeder can also be a fun way to interact with the outdoors.

Decorate their space – If you haven’t already, help decorate your loved one’s space with favorite pieces from home. Be sure to avoid adding clutter or trip hazards, particularly from too much furniture, but do add keepsakes, family photos, and decor to inspire good memories and help them feel more settled.

Get creative – Creative endeavors can be calming and fun to do, plus it gives your aging loved one a sense of purpose, talent, and confidence. Everything from adult coloring to knitting, painting, crocheting, even sculpting with clay or play-doh can do wonders to stimulate the mind and produce feelings of positivity. Even better, have them create something that can decorate their new room or they can give to a friend, neighbor, or grandchild.

Consider a pet – If your loved one lives in a facility that allows pets and enjoys the company of animals, consider a cat or small dog. If caring for a cat or dog is overwhelming, think about a smaller animal for companionship or entertainment, such as a fish or gerbil. Be sure to take into consideration your loved one’s ability to care for a pet with regular feeding and hygiene.

Video chat – Want to really surprise your loved one? Set up a special video chat with someone they haven’t seen in a while. Free video chat services like Skype, Facetime, or Google Duo can be installed and easily used over Wi-Fi on your mobile device or computer.

If your loved one reaches a point where living independently becomes challenging or impossible, it’s important to be prepared for their next phase of life. Check out the facilities at The Legacy Assisted Living that offer a smooth transition from their current situation to their possible future living arrangements of assisted living in Tuscaloosa. You can learn more about available amenities, floor plans, and medical support by speaking with Transition Specialist Tim Eads (205) 344-2855 or contacting our team members via email at to discuss your specific needs.



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