How Often Should You Call or Visit an Elderly Loved One Who Recently Moved into Assisted Living?

When an aging parent or other elderly loved one moves into assisted living, you want to check on them. You want to make sure they are safe, happy, and adjusting well enough. Some people take this to an extreme.

They start calling every day, probably several times a day. This is especially true when that aging senior seems nervous, apprehensive, or has “second thoughts” just before their move in date.

Why would an aging person have second thoughts about assisted living?

Assisted Living Satsuma, AL: Moving in To Assisted Living

It’s not about assisted living. It’s about the move. The unknown can often be stressful for anyone, regardless of age. Think back to a time when you went away from home for the first time. How did you feel?

Many of us felt homesick, at least for a couple of days. After a while, though, you started settling in, making friends, and discovering all of the great things at camp, a friend’s house, a vacation, or something else offered. Then you started to enjoy yourself and that homesick feeling begin to dissipate.

The same can be true about aging seniors who move to assisted living for the first time. This elderly person in your life may have been in the same house, apartment, or condo for many, many years. Making a change like this can be disconcerting. It can cause anxiousness.

What happens if you call or visit too frequently?

If the elderly person is having doubts, second thoughts, or otherwise wonders whether they did the right choice, they might very well stay in the room. This is exacerbated when that senior is shy, withdrawn, and introverted.

If you are calling all the time or visiting frequently, guess what? They will likely have an excuse to stay in the room with the door closed. After all, they’re going to be waiting for your phone call or your visit. That means they won’t be getting out and seeing all this assisted living facility has to offer.

They won’t be making new friends. They won’t be developing new connections.

How often should you call?

Perhaps once a day. Maybe twice during the first week. But, make sure it is early in the morning or late in the evening, at the same time so the senior knows when you will become.

There will be no excuse for them to hunker down in the room. If you sense they are simply holed up in their room and avoiding doing things, encourage them and then tell them you won’t be able to call tomorrow, but you’ll check in the next day.

When seniors get out and explore a quality assisted living community, they learn to adapt. To get excited about the things they see and can do. Excessive phone calls and visits could interfere with this natural process, so be on your guard.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Assisted Living near Satsuma, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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