How many ways are there for adult children to connect with their parents in an assisted living community? In 10 minutes, Tara Powell, Life Enrichment Coordinator at Bethesda Hawthorne Place, an assisted living and memory care community in the Kirkwood/Webster Groves areas, named approximately 30 assisted living activities.

Where to Start?

“We always encourage visitors to take a look at our activity calendar, and see what interests them,” Tara says. “Almost every activity on the calendar for the residents can be joined by friends and families; just look for the signup sheets.”

Tara notices that the seniors tend to participate more consistently when family members participate. Adult children can look for times of less activity on the calendars if they want to have more individual time with their parents.

What’s Happening?

Some of the many activities include:

  • Crafts
  • Exercise classes
  • Games
  • Music sessions
  • Movie nights
  • Painting classes

Visitors should talk with the staff about how they can contribute to activities. “We highly encourage visitors to share something they enjoy, or have a talent for, with our residents,” Tara says.

Currently, at Bethesda Hawthorne Place, one family member plays the piano three days a week. Recently, a visitor led a gardening class. A granddaughter brought in a wide variety of cookie cutters for a baking class.

In addition to participating in activities, visitors can dine with their senior loved ones, take a walk around the grounds, and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions in the privacy of a community room. Just call the staff ahead of time to make a reservation.

Special observances occur throughout the year, and visitors are welcome on some of the regular outings enjoyed by the residents.

Other activities family and residents can enjoy together include enjoying a visit to a local park, visiting neighbors in the old neighborhood, attending church, catching a movie or just taking a drive. Special community-wide celebrations are also open to all.

In the grandparent’s apartment, family members can view a photo album, play games, watch videos, listen to music, and bring in the grandchildren to participate.

Also, adult children can catch their parent up on what is happening in the old neighborhood and in their lives.

What are the Benefits?

According to Tara, regular visits from family improves seniors’ outlook on life, their participation in activities, and health. It also helps them connect with other residents because they have something to share. “They can say to another resident, ‘My daughter just got a promotion,” or, “Guess what my grandson said last week,’” Tara says.

How many other ways can adult children and their senior loved ones connect with each other in an assisted living community? Tara listed many above, but why not visit and find out for yourself?

If you or your senior loved one is interested in assisted living, schedule a tour at a Bethesda community near you. These communities offer an engaging lifestyle for seniors, with plenty of opportunities for family and friends to visit.