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Making Nursing Home Visits Meaningful

By Sandra Stimson

(Page 2 of 3)
  1. Don’t be afraid to laugh and share humorous stories. Bring funny cartoons and funny stories to share. It’s ok to laugh.

  2. Bring cassette tapes or CDs of the religious services from their local church. Share the church bulletin with them.

  3. Bring the local community paper and read what is happening in their local community. It will help them still feel connected.

  4. Share events happening in your family.

  5. Read poetry.

  6. Share a meal with them. Many facilities allow families to purchase a meal and eat with the loved one in the dining room.

  7. You could do a makeup session or fix their hair. You can bring pretty nail polish and do a manicure.

  8. Share a scrapbook or photo album.

  9. Go for a stroll together. Nothing is like a visit outside. Many facilities have lovely patios.

  10. If your loved one is able to take a drive in the car, go on short outings. Suggestions would be: a ride around the community, zoo, restaurant, park, church, local store or a pet shop. Call ahead to make sure the destination is wheelchair accessible.

  11. Bring to family gatherings, such as weddings, holiday dinners and religious events.

  12. Bring games they enjoy, cards, checkers, chess, word puzzles.

  13. Bring crafts they enjoy, such as yarn or cross stitch.

  14. Bring a video of family events such as weddings, graduations, baseball games, dance recitals, or share a video with them of a movie you enjoyed.

  15. If they like to read, but now are unable, purchase books on tape.

  16. Begin a project that you can work on each time you come. For example, if they loved to garden, you could begin a flower press book and dry the flowers. Once they are dried, you could make a collage together and hang the picture on the wall.

  17. Assist your love one with writing a letter to a friend or relative.

  18. Help fulfill their final wishes. It may be contacting a long lost friend, or giving away a valuable. Listen to “what they want” and don’t make judgments. There are organizations that grant last wishes of the elderly. It may be a hot air balloon ride or a dinner with all of their loved ones.

  19. Exercise with them. There are several video tapes for elderly in wheelchairs. It could be simple arm lifts, walking or hand exercises.

  20. 32. Place calendars in their room with large clocks. Don’t assume they can’t tell time.

  21. Hug a lot.

 

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