How to Make Nursing Home Visits Successful
If your loved one has been placed in a nursing home, then you may have realized that the time you set aside to visit them is very significant. That is to say, your loved one may cherish the moments they get to see you during visits. But sometimes visits may not always go as planned. Your loved one may be too tired to interact, they may have had a bad day prior to your visit, or perhaps you’re not in the best mood. Nevertheless, visiting your loved one is crucial for making their day and their time at a nursing home meaningful. Here are some tips to promote successful visits:
1) Bring their favorite foods: When my grandfather was placed in a nursing home, my mother and I would try to visit his favorite bakery to bring him coffee and a snack. Although this gesture was small, it made a huge difference in his day. A lot of times it would improve his mood since he often felt very lonely.
2) Bring grandchildren: There is nothing better to lighten the mood than with the joy and innocence that young children bring. Sometimes a nursing home environment can seem dreary and lonesome. Sometimes heavy thoughts are weighing down on your loved one during this time in their life. Bringing children with you can be a way to introduce light-hearted fun into their living environment.
3) Respect your loved one’s schedule: As mentioned above, sometimes you may go out of your way to visit and find that your loved one is sleeping or is preoccupied with something else. If you think it is appropriate, then leave them be. Only you know your loved one well enough to determine if waking them up from a nap or interrupting their own activities will be a bother to them.
4) Volunteer with the nursing home: If you want to be heavily involved in your loved one’s life during their time in a nursing home, then you can ask with what services the nursing home needs help. Sometimes there are volunteer slots open to organize activities or outings. Volunteering will be a way to ensure that you get to spend fun and meaningful time with your loved one.
5) Anticipate negative moments: Being in a nursing home is often difficult for your loved one since it is a huge change from the life they were used to living. Even though the environment can help improve the quality of their life, they may not be completely happy there. As a result, they may react aggressively toward you or others. These situations require effective communication strategies. Listen to your loved one if they are dissatisfied, acknowledge how they feel, and try to see if a solution exists to fix any immediate problems. There are services at the nursing homes aimed at ameliorating any less than agreeable circumstances. See what you can do to help.
6) Make their new space home again: Bring decorations that you think they would appreciate and put them around their living space. Sometimes there may be space for other accessories like a radio, TV, or a phone. Talk to staff at the nursing home to see if there are ways to accommodate your loved one in this manner. These additions to their living space can make a world of difference.
If you have more questions about what you can do to make your loved one feel at home, then please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or you can visit our website.