How Often Should Relatives Be Visiting A Care Home?
When your relative goes to live in a care home, regularly visiting a care home is vital for reassuring loved ones. Helping them to settle into the new surroundings and making sure they are comfortable will make the transition much easier.
Visits from family members, especially children, can help to brighten any day for residents in care homes or a private nursing home and can help them to forge relationships with other residents and staff.
How Family Visitors Can Help
In addition to helping with practical things, such as shopping for clothes and toiletries for your loved one, there are many other ways of helping them in the home. Taking them for walks in or outside the home, in a wheelchair if necessary, will broaden their horizons and allow them to meet people they might not otherwise see. So much depends on the individual – if they are well enough to enjoy outings, ensure that staff know where you are going and what time to expect the resident to return.
When visiting a care home, you can enjoy activities you have always done with your relative. Things such as playing board games, reading a newspaper with them or simply chatting will help them to pass the time. Joining in with activities such as craft or exercise sessions in the home can help your relative to settle in, and the staff will probably welcome your presence. Elderly people often love to see children, so encouraging them to talk to all the residents when visiting can lighten up their day.
If your loved one has complex needs, assisting them with bathing, toileting or meals may be appropriate if they are happy to accept personal care from you. Staff will be happy to advise you about what you can do to help.
Visiting a Care Home – What Not to Do
Although it is important that you build good relationships with the nurses or carers who are looking after your relative, remember that they have a busy schedule and there are times when they will not be able to stop for a chat. Although general assistance may be welcomed, it is important that you do not interfere with the care of other residents, as helping someone to transfer to a wheelchair, walk or even eat may not be appropriate or safe.
You may not be able to visit as much as you would like, but do not feel guilty about this. The important thing is to ensure that your relative and the staff know when to expect you and how to contact you in an emergency.
You should be able to visit your relative freely, and most care homes in West Sussex, Surrey and elsewhere will welcome visiting a care home at any time and encourage family members to get involved with the daily life and care of their loved ones.