Visiting as regularly as you can when your loved one resides in a nursing home or assisted living not only helps you to stay connected, but it also deepens your bond. Spending time quality time will make their day brighter and knowing when you’ll come next gives them something to look forward to.
Some people may find it distressing or unpleasant to visit a nursing home or an assisted living facility because they are unsure of what to do or say. Having some concepts in mind and bringing activities with you can make visiting enjoyable and beneficial.
Even if they can’t do as much as you, don’t forget that someone who is unable to participate may be able to feel the same sense of joy and satisfaction.
Seniors who live in a care facility may feel lonely since they have so little contact with family. Make this your chance to keep them connected and reassure them that they aren’t forgotten. You might bring visitors with you, particularly children, teens, or someone who would be too young to visit alone.
If you have family members living far away, set up video chats or phone calls so they can also see your elderly loved one virtually. When it comes to bringing children over to visit, consider bringing a puzzle, artwork project, or a simple game so that they can keep their minds active while spending quality time with their loved one. A common activity allows them to become acquainted and keeps everyone happily occupied.
Another option is to encourage a young child to bring something for “show and tell” so they can share their favorite thing. Another enjoyable way to spend time together is by watching children’s videos. They might watch a soccer game, school play, or other event on video.
Another approach to keep your senior informed on family happenings or vacations is to share current images and videos. They’ll especially like seeing films of the kids. You might even offer Facebook updates, showing what family members have been up to lately, as a way of keeping them informed.
Include them in family celebrations whenever possible. You might help them get excited about the event by telling them about the preparations or asking for their ideas on food, music, or décor if they can attend in person. Take a lot of photographs so you may share and relive the fun times later.
Music has a broad range of benefits, including increased happiness and engagement, lowering anxiety, and boosting mood. It’s also a fun way to spend time with your loved one. Play their favorite songs or set up a basic music player so they can listen whenever they want. You could sit and listen together, have an impromptu sing-along, or just listen while they reminisce about the past.
If you’re not sure what music they enjoy, ask family or friends for suggestions. Bring a mix of songs that came out when they were young and inquire which is their favorite. Soft music is relaxing, comforting, and fun to do together. If you’re not sure if they’re enjoying the song, check their body language. Change the tone, volume, or activity if they appear disturbed.
It’s a wonderful way to spend time together and strengthen your relationship by looking through old photographs or videos. You may never know what stories or memories your older loved one will recall. Photos are also excellent icebreakers. If you and your elderly parent wish to collaborate on a project, you could even create a family tree or family history, which would be both entertaining and meaningful!
Petting a dog or stroking a cat is highly therapeutic. Why not bring your pet with you the next time you visit? Animal companionship has been found to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels!
Interacting with pets may help you lower cholesterol, prevent depression, and protect against heart disease and stroke in the long run. But check first with your care community to find out if non-human visitors are permitted.
When we eat, we all enjoy the company of others. Sharing a meal with your older adult is another method to connect with them. If visiting isn’t appropriate at mealtime, maybe bring a snack to enjoy together.
Bring a little “picnic” of tea and cookies, crackers and cheese, or something your loved one enjoys. You may also add some sparkle to it by mixing sparkling juice or water with lemonade, juice, or iced tea!
You may also use this chance to assist your elderly loved one in getting some fresh air and exercise. Instead of remaining in their room, take them outside to the courtyard or garden. That might imply walking slowly with them and providing support as needed or pushing their wheelchair.
If the care home doesn’t have a suitable outside space, walking around inside is still an excellent way to spend time – and it’s beneficial to one’s health.
Going out may be a lot of fun for someone who lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Taking your older loved one out to see the world is an amazing thing to do for them. They might enjoy going to religious services, the hair salon, a drugstore, or a mall.
Discuss this concept with your older loved one to see if they would be interested. Some individuals may prefer to go out but may need your assistance in selecting a location.
Touch can have therapeutic benefits for many people who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Depending on your connection with your senior adult, some spoiling may be a lovely pastime. You might give them a light fragrant lotion and a gentle hand massage or bring some tools and offer them a manicure. Some nail polish could be fun for women as well.
A nice body massage is beneficial to some individuals. Give a gentle massage while they sit in their normal chair. Massage their neck, shoulders, back, and arms – wherever you can reach – using a very light touch (senior skin and muscles may be delicate).
Reading out loud is another fantastic pastime. It’s a wonderful method to connect with and demonstrate your care without having to make a lot of conversation. Reading to your loved one is especially beneficial for elderly individuals who are bedridden, non-responsive due to a serious health problem, or have vision impairments.
Bring one of their favorite novels with you and read a few pages each time you pay them a visit. Alternatively, bring an audiobook that the two of you may listen to together.
Why not enjoy a movie or television together with your older loved one? It’s another method to spend time together. If your parent has a TV in their room, consider acquiring them a DVD player or streaming service.
If they have a laptop or tablet computer and subscribe to a service like Netflix, they can watch whatever they want on demand. Inquire about what they’d want to see – perhaps there are older films or shows they’d want to revisit or current shows you know they’d enjoy. It’s a fantastic method to unwind and spend time together no matter what you watch.
You are invited to visit assisted living facilities with family members, friends, or other loved ones. However, if you drop by unannounced and the individual is not feeling well or busy at that moment, it may be considered an intrusion into their privacy. If this happens, apologize and schedule a time to come back when they’re available. Don’t take it personally – your loved one just wants some private time too!