Whether visiting a loved one or volunteering during the holidays, you want to make the most of your visit for yourself and residents. Here are some tips on how to have a successful visit to a nursing home.
Planning is essential to a good visit to a nursing home. Contact the nursing home and inquire about their visiting hours, guidelines, and rules. If you’re volunteering, ask the staff if there’s anything specific you can bring and where they need the most help. If visiting a loved one, let them know when you’re coming and ask if they need anything specific.
Respect is critical during nursing home visits. Remember, there may be residents who are ill. Treat residents with dignity and respect by keeping your voice down when walking in hallways and common areas. Don’t invade their privacy or make insensitive or unwarranted physical contact or comments.
Have a Friendly and Positive Attitude
Bring your biggest smile and a cheerful disposition to your nursing home visit. Positive energy is contagious; your loved one and other residents will appreciate your attitude. Being friendly and happy goes a long way in lifting your loved one’s spirits and creating a sense of connection.
Share your personal stories, tell jokes, participate in an activity, reminisce about old times with your loved one, catch them up on family news, and show genuine interest in their lives.
Bring Thoughtful Gifts
Visiting a nursing home is the perfect time to bring things your loved one may not be able to get on their own. Call before to ask if they need anything. If they tell you they don’t need anything, take the opportunity to be creative. Bring a book by their favorite author, a decadent meal to share, fresh flowers, beautiful plants, photos of family members in gorgeous frames, homemade cookies, or tasty snacks. These tokens of kindness can bring a smile to their face and show you care.
Invite Family and Close Friends
It’s common for people to get busy and forget how important it is to visit a loved one in a nursing home. Inviting family and close friends to join you may be a welcomed reminder and be the push needed to visit. In addition, a visit from multiple people, especially kids, can be a welcome surprise for a lonely loved one. Ask the facility administrators if pets are welcome and bring a furry friend to visit!
Follow Up on Your Visits
If you regularly visit a loved one or volunteer in nursing homes, that’s great. If not, make sure you continue to visit. Consistent interaction and companionship can positively impact the well-being of nursing home residents and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Visiting a nursing home should be a fulfilling and rewarding experience for everyone involved.
A little planning, thoughtful gifts, and a cheerful attitude can make your visits more meaningful and ensure a positive experience. Your time and companionship can bring joy and comfort to people living in nursing homes and create lasting memories and connections.