Visiting your elderly loved one in a nursing home is not always easy. However, if you’re feeling uncertain about ways to make your next visit a success, there are handy ways to ease your mind. To assist you, here are seven useful tips for the next time you visit an elderly loved one in their nursing home:
1. Protect Your Loved One’s Future
When you’re visiting a loved one in a nursing home, one of your top priorities should be accessing how happy and secure they are in their new home. If you suspect abuse may be happening, for example, you should be proactive, and begin looking into ways to determine how to stop any potential abuse. If you need to, this would also be the proper time to enlist the help of a nursing home abuse attorney, who can help you navigate this difficult and often-awkward situation. However, in most cases, you will never have to deal with abuse, and can instead use your energy ensuring that your loved one has everything they need to live a happy and dignified life in their nursing home facility.
2. Stay Emotionally Present
Being emotionally present is key, as family members will pick up on your emotionally distant nature if you’re not emotionally present. So that you can enjoy some calm conversation, slow down a little. Be aware of your body language, as fumbling with your keys or checking your phone every five minutes could be a sign that you’d rather not be with your loved one. To be fully present throughout your visit, think about switching off your technology, and dedicating all of your attention to your elderly loved one (and anyone else that you’ve brought along for the nursing home visitation).
3. Be Kind Upon Arrival
First impressions are always important, and this is no different when you’re visiting an elderly loved one in a nursing home. Set the tone with a friendly greeting when you arrive. If someone is seated and unable to stand up smoothly, such as someone in a wheelchair, try not to stand stiffly and look down at them. Think about how you would feel if something occurred to you. Instead, smile, make eye contact, and extend a warm handshake or hug. Spend the visit on the same emotional wavelength as them, and they will be thrilled to spend quality, valuable time with you.
4. Bring Activities Along for the Visit
Visitations are not always easy, so it’s useful to have icebreakers or simply ways to spend time together with ease. You won’t feel under pressure to continue a no-destination discussion if you do this. A tablet for watching current family films together, old family photos or documents, vintage music, and hand lotion or nail polish for a manicure are some examples of possible gifts you can bring that will keep everyone busy and entertained. However, be sure to consider what your elderly loved one actually likes to do, before deciding on any entertainment or activities that you bring along.
5. Physical Touch is Key
Depending on your loved one’s personality, the way you’ll use touch to help soothe them will differ. While some people would adore a back rub, others may find it awkward. The majority of people enjoy having their hands or arms rubbed, for example. As you’re listening to music, give your loved one a hand massage and they will feel more loved. The more caring and specific you are with this tip, the better.
6. Plan Out the Visitation Timeline
Every individual is unique, thus there is no predetermined amount of time that is ideal when visiting a loved one. Consider your loved one’s health and energy levels as well as the progress of your visit. It would be wise to give your loved one some time to relax if they appear to be exhausted. On the other hand, don’t feel compelled to leave if your loved one is having a fantastic time telling stories. However keep in mind that compared to a lengthier stay filled with stillness, people could prefer a shorter visit filled with heartfelt talk.
7. Don’t Let Dementia Detour Your Visit
It may be unsettling to visit someone who has dementia since you are unsure of how they will act or how you should react. You may have powerful emotions when you realize how different they are from the person you formerly knew. The best course of action is to maintain your composure, concentrate on the good you are doing for them, and give yourself some time to get used to this new situation. It will be quite beneficial to understand some fundamental dos and don’ts.