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How often to visit a parent in a nursing home

Caring for a parent in a carel home can be one of the greatest challenges, and knowing how often you should visit them can add even further stress. We understand that you don’t want to overstay your welcome, but equally, you don’t want to make your loved one feel isolated.

While the right answer will come down to your own personal circumstances, we have compiled a guide for you to allow you to make the most of your visits with your loved one, even if they aren’t as frequent as you’d like. 

How often to visit a parent in  nursing home

There’s no correct answer when it comes to how often you should visit a parent in a nursing home as many different circumstances come into play, including proximity, family history, dynamics and availability. 

Nonetheless, numerous studies have shown a profound link between social isolation in the elderly and cognitive deterioration, declining physical health and depression. So, if your schedule allows, consistent visits actually play a crucial role in reassuring your loved ones of your support. 

Tips for visiting a loved one in a nursing home

We understand that juggling your own life as well as your parent’s life is really challenging and not a task that can always be fulfilled. That’s why we’ve pulled together some top tips to help you make the most of your time with your parent in residential care. Take a look below for more. 

Establish a visitation schedule

Now that your family member has been moved to a care home, they may have a new schedule that will need to be worked around. Equally, you may also have many commitments, such as work and time for your own home and social life. As such, it’s recommended that you figure out a routine that works for you both. You could also contact the residential care home in advance and inquire about an appropriate visiting schedule. 

Engage in activities

To make the most of your time with your loved one in a nursing home, you should always try to engage in meaningful activities. Consider reading their favourite books, playing board games, or enjoying a leisurely walk in the facility’s garden. Listening to their stories and sharing your own can also foster a strong connection and make your visit worthwhile for both of you. 

Additionally, participating in any organised group activities at the nursing home can provide a sense of togetherness. These activities not only bring joy but also enhance the quality of your visits, making them more enjoyable for your loved one.

Listen actively

Listening actively is essential when visiting a loved one in a nursing home. Give them your full attention, show genuine interest in their thoughts and feelings, and validate their emotions. When talking to someone living with dementia, encourage open and meaningful conversations, ask about their memories and be patient if they need time to express themselves. 

Active listening creates a supportive and comforting environment, making your visits more enjoyable and meaningful for your loved one.

Respect their privacy

There will also be some days when your loved one may not need your company or times when they may want you to leave during your stay. In fact, it’s essential that you respect their privacy just as much as you would want someone to respect yours. So, always ask for their permission before entering their personal space, and be mindful of their boundaries. 

By respecting their privacy, you demonstrate trust, foster a sense of autonomy, and ensure a comfortable and respectful visit that honours their individuality and dignity.

What are the benefits of visiting parents in nursing homes?

As reported by AgeUK, England is home to 1.4 million older individuals experiencing chronic loneliness. So, staying connected with your elderly parents and relatives through visits and regular communication is a meaningful way to help your loved one have a meaningful and enriching end of life. Find out more about the benefits of visiting parents in nursing homes?

Emotional connection

Visiting parents in nursing homes fosters a vital emotional connection. These visits provide an opportunity for shared moments of love, companionship and reassurance. They alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness, offering comfort to ageing parents. 

Moreover, regular visits offer emotional support and a sense of belonging, improving their mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s a chance to create cherished memories, share stories, and provide the love and attention that elderly parents truly cherish.

Strengthened relationships

Visiting parents in a care home strengthens relationships through consistent presence and quality time. These visits demonstrate a commitment to their wellbeing, fostering trust and security. 

Engaging in meaningful conversations and activities deepens emotional bonds, allowing for sharing stories, experiences and concerns. Such interactions promote a sense of togetherness and understanding, nurturing a more profound connection between adult children and their elderly parents, ultimately enhancing the quality of their relationship.

Sense of belonging

These visits also reaffirm that the family bond endures and that elderly parents remain cherished and essential members of the family. Regular contact and shared moments reassure them of their place in the family circle, mitigating any feelings of isolation or abandonment. 

It shows them a sense of purpose, contributing to their overall wellbeing, and reinforcing the comforting idea that they continue to hold a special place in their loved ones’ lives.

What not to do during your care home visit

When visiting a care home, it’s essential to be mindful of certain behaviours to ensure a positive and respectful experience. First and foremost, you should make sure to not intrude into the care of other residents in care homes, as this is primarily the responsibility of nurses and carers, and intervening may pose safety risks. 

Understand that you may not always be able to visit as frequently as desired too, and it’s important not to harbour guilt about this. In fact, your loved one still receives comprehensive support, cultivating new companions and friendships in their new home.

Lastly, avoid making negative comments about the facility or staff. Instead, address any concerns with the management or relevant personnel. 

When an elderly parent or loved one transitions to a care home, adapting to a new visiting routine can be challenging, particularly if you were their primary caregiver. That said, regular visits offer peace of mind, assuring you that they are well cared for and receiving the necessary support.

Experience compassionate and professional elderly care at The Fremantle Trust. Contact us today to discover how we can provide the best support for your loved ones. Their wellbeing is our priority.