When a loved one lives in a personal care facility, it is important to visit regularly and show them how much they are loved. Spending time will brighten their day, and knowing loved ones are visiting provides the tenants something to look forward to. On the flip side, seniors living in a personal care facility can get lonely because they have limited contact with people outside of the nursing facility. By visiting, one can help keep them connected and remind them that they are not forgotten!
Some people may find it awkward or uncomfortable to visit a personal care facility because they do not know what to do or say. To eliminate those worries, here are some suggestions to help make the next personal care facility visit a fun and joyful experience. If visiting in person is not one’s personal preference, virtual visits are just as uplifting! Video chats and phone calls are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.
Ideas for The Next Visit to a Personal Care Facility
- Bring Along Games
Bring some fun to the visit! Bring a board game, a puzzle, art project, or cards so they will have something fun to do with the older adult. A shared activity helps people bond and keeps everyone happily engaged. Young children can also bring items for “show and tell” so they can share what they are excited about with the individual at the personal care facility.
- Enjoy Music Together
Music has a universal ability to boost mood, reduce agitation, and increase happiness and engagement. It is also a wonderful way to enjoy time with a family member or friend. When together, play a favorite song or set up a simple music player so they can listen anytime. Sit and listen together, have an impromptu sing-along, or listen as they reminisce over memories from younger days. If unsure about what music they enjoy, ask relatives or bring a selection of songs that came out when they were young and ask which they like the most.
- Reminisce Over Old Photos
Looking at old photos or videos is a great way to spend time together and strengthen bonds. One never knows what stories or memories older adults will be inspired to share. Photos are also great conversation starters. Another fun project could include working on creating a family tree. Family trees are both fun and meaningful for individuals!
- Bring a Furry Friend Along
Petting a dog or cat is a highly therapeutic activity. If a personal care facility allows one to bring your pet, and the individual is an animal lover, it is a great way to enjoy time with an animal. Research has shown that spending time with animals lowers stress levels, heart rate, and blood pressure. In the long-term, interacting with a pet can even lower cholesterol, prevent depression, and protect against heart disease and stroke.
- Eat a Meal or Snack Together
People enjoy companionship when eating. Whether eating in the community dining room or going to a restaurant, sharing a meal is a way to bond with a loved one. If mealtime is not the right time for a visit, a snack is just as joyful. For example, bring a little “picnic” of crackers and cheese or something else that the individual likes.
- Get Some Fresh Air
Going outside to get some fresh air is an excellent form of exercise. If there is not a suitable outside area, walking around inside the building is still a great activity and is good for one’s health.
- Take Them on Short Outings
Going out can be a treat for someone living in a personal care facility. Whether they want to go to a religious service, a hair salon, a mall, or a museum, it is a great way to make the individual happy.
- Give a Massage or Manicure
Many people in personal care facilities would benefit from the therapeutic effects of touch. In addition, depending on the relationship with the older adult, some pampering may be a great way to spend an afternoon. Bringing lightly scented lotion means one could give the older family member or friend a gentle hand massage. If one gets some tools, they could even have a manicure.
- Read Aloud
Reading aloud is a great way to connect with someone and let them know how much they are loved without making a lot of conversation. It is ideal for bed-bound older adults and is not very responsive because of advanced health conditions or those with vision impairments.
- Watch a TV Show or Movie
Watching a TV show or a movie with family and friends is a great way to share a connection without words. Activities such as this are a great way to spend time together and not be worried about conversation or awkwardness. If the individual in a personal care facility has a TV and internet/cable connection in their room, consider getting them a subscription to Netflix or Amazon Prime so they can easily watch their favorite movies.
For further information regarding this topic, please contact Mary and Martha’s Personal Care at (706) 866-7454 or visit them online at maryandmarthaspersonalcare.com.