Visiting a loved one in senior housing this holiday season?
Millions of people live in nursing homes, assisted livings and other senior housing communities all over the United States, so chances are, you are probably planning to visit someone close to you in one of those communities over the holiday season. Unfortunately, some visitors, usually children, aren't always prepared for the realities of long-term care, and in order to make holiday visits special for your whole family, there are a few things you can do ahead of time:
#1. Talk to your kids before you go
If you plan to bring kids with you, the more you can prepare them ahead of time, the better. Check your local bookstore for children's books about visiting the elderly. You should also have a conversation with your child about what they might see, such as people in wheelchairs or people being fed.
#2. Plan some activities.
Over the holiday season, there are probably plenty of activities going on in the community where your loved one lives, but you can bring your own activities as well. Bring something that both your kids and your elderly loved one can enjoy, like a board game or a puzzle.
#3. Encourage your child to interact.
Children can often be shy when they visit senior housing communities, but try to encourage them to interact as much as possible. Ask them to tell your loved one about their Christmas list, favorites activities, etc. to get the ball rolling. When you have kids in tow, visiting long-term care communities can be tricky, but with a little preparation, you can make the holidays special for your entire family! Please feel free to visit us at Salem Luthern Homes & Rehabilitation Center!