Wednesday, February 5, 2014

4 tips for visiting your loved one in a facility

If you have a family member or friend living in an assisted living facility or nursing home, here are a few suggestions to help make yourself and your loved one more comfortable during visits. Contact the facility with specific questions or guidance on personal issues.

  • Often, visiting hours are an open period, stretching 10-12 hours. Choose an hour conducive to a pleasant visit for you and your loved one. If your schedule leaves you unavailable during regular visiting hours, contact the administrative offices to make a special arrangement. Once a time is established, try to keep a consistent visit time, whether weekly or monthly, to avoid feelings of disappointment or blame.
  • All ages are welcomed at most nursing homes. For young children, the experience is usually happy. Once children are older, in their teen years, they may need reassurance or an explanation of what to expect prior to the visit.
  • Ask about taking residents on an outing or home for a holiday celebration. Planning these field trips with facility staff will ensure these fun days remain stress-free for both the resident and the visitor.
  • Be supportive of the situation. Bring personal items the resident might miss, but try to be encouraging of the circumstances. Of course, if there are issues, take your concerns to a social worker.

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