If you’re looking to re-connect with your family and friends living in a Senior Care Home setting, you’re reading the right article. Our social connections and relationships are important life assets! Here are four easy steps to connect with family and friends living in Senior Care Homes.
#1 Set a date try to make it a reoccurring event.
The days and months pass by fast. It’s not uncommon to find ourselves saying, “I haven’t seen Bill in ages!”
While any visit is a welcomed visit, sporadic and unpredictable visits can be hard on our loved ones living in Senior Care Homes.
“An individual may have a family member come visit today, but they don’t know when they will see them again. Having a solidified routine is very helpful,” says Ellan Dickieson of Senior Transitions Made Simple.
Set a date every month and make it a recurring event. If you can visit more than once a month that’s fantastic. Be mindful that we’re all rebuilding our social stamina, so pace yourself. Even if you can only visit once every two months, put it on your calendar as a reoccurring event.
#2 Communicate with your family member or friend – tell them the plan.
Call your family member or friend to tell them your plan. Even consider writing it down for them. If they know you visit the first Wednesday of the month it gives them something to look forward to.
Consider communicating your plan with other family members and friends. “Notifying others can help spread out visitors throughout the month. A strong unified social network helps combat loneliness and social isolation” says Dickieson.
#3 Make your visit meaningful.
We are notorious for talking about the weather. Conversations can be dull and difficult when you’re talking about mundane things. It is important to keep your visits positive, uplifting and meaningful. Here are three suggestions:
· Take an item with you. This could be a magazine to look through, the church bulletin, or a cookbook.
· Consider reminiscing. Fill a shoebox with some older items, photos, matchbooks or wedding invitations.
· Play a game. Bring a deck of cards, a scrabble game or bocce ball.
Key takeaway: Don’t go empty-handed!
#4 Always call the home in advance to check current rules and regulations.
In the Senior Care Home setting rules and regulations can change quickly. Please double-check with the home before you go. Be aware of all required precautions and do make an extra effort to protect your loved one and their co-residents.
Friendships with family members and friends is an essential part of healthy aging. We all need to get back out there and make those connections again. Set up a date to go visit your loved one today!
Ellan Dickieson is the Founder of Senior Transitions Made Simple. As a registered Social Worker she empowers seniors to overcome later life challenges and live out their vision for aging, whether that be in their own home or a Senior Care Home setting.