How often should family members of elderly nursing home residents visit their friends and loved ones? While there is no one answer to the question, you should do your best to make sure that your friend or loved one feels appreciated and loved. The last thing that anyone wants to feel is alone or as if he or she is a burden to everyone.
Make The Time Count
Whether you stop by once a day or once a week, you should make the time count. When you see an elderly person who means a lot to you, it is important to have time to watch a television show, play cards or take a walk around the building. While it may seem like a quick visit to you, your friend or family member has been waiting for this visit since you left visited.
Your Family Knows That You Are Busy
If you have a parent or grandparent in an assisted living facility, you shouldn’t feel obligated to spend every free moment in that facility. Your friend or parent knows that you are busy and have a life of your own to attend to. Those who can’t make time to make personal visits on a regular basis can make up for it by writing letters or calling on the phone. Teaching your parent or friend how to use the Internet can make it easier to stay in touch through social media or using software such as Skype.
Ask For Permission To Leave The Facility
You should understand that you can arrange to take residents out of the facility for an extended period of time. A trip to a show, to the park or to a meal in a nice restaurant can be a welcome change of pace for someone who is cooped up in a room or a single building all day. If you are feel bad leaving someone who means so much to you in a nursing home, you can look for a home that organizes group outings on a regular basis. This removes the burden of being the sole provider of entertainment to an elderly family member.
Understand That Being There Is What Matters Most
Loneliness is one of the worst emotions that a human can feel. As we age, we start to lose our friends and loved ones to old age and illness. Those who live longer than their peers may not have anyone to sit with and talk to about the weather or politics. Simply being there to have a conversation or merely sit in the room together is all that anyone wants from those who are the closest people left to them.
Get To Know When It Is Most Convenient To Visit
The times when you can visit may not be convenient to your elderly relative. It may be that your mother likes to take a nap in the afternoon or is excessively tired due to a medication that she has to take. In some cases, you may not be able to visit as often as you want to due to these factors. If your relative has a roommate, you may be limited to certain visiting hours out of respect to others in the facility.
The Visits Are Important For Yourself As Well
Visiting your relatives on a regular basis is important for yourself as well. You never know when your last chance to talk to your dad will be or when your grandfather may not recognize you or your voice anymore. Although it may feel awkward or inconvenient to make time for those in a nursing home, you will hate yourself even more if you don’t make time for those who always made time for you in the past.
Nursing homes are not always the most uplifting places to be. However, you have to be there for your family members in their time of need. Those who are recovering from a surgery, battling an illness or don’t have a lot of friends left need their family members to be there for them in their time of need. Whether you can get to the facility once a day, once a week or once a month, do your best to be there whenever you can.