ARTICLES / General / Making Nursing Home Visits Meaningful /
Don’t be afraid to laugh and share
humorous stories. Bring funny cartoons and funny
stories to share. It’s ok to laugh.
Bring cassette tapes or CDs of the
religious services from their local church. Share
the church bulletin with them.
Bring the local community paper and
read what is happening in their local community. It
will help them still feel connected.
Share events happening in your
Share a meal with them. Many
facilities allow families to purchase a meal and eat
with the loved one in the dining room.
You could do a makeup session or fix
their hair. You can bring pretty nail polish and do
Share a scrapbook or photo album.
Go for a stroll together. Nothing is
like a visit outside. Many facilities have lovely
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
Bring to family gatherings, such as
weddings, holiday dinners and religious events.
Bring games they enjoy, cards,
checkers, chess, word puzzles.
Bring crafts they enjoy, such as
yarn or cross stitch.
Bring a video of family events such
as weddings, graduations, baseball games, dance
recitals, or share a video with them of a movie you
If they like to read, but now are
unable, purchase books on tape.
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.
Assist your love one with writing a
letter to a friend or relative.
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
Exercise with them. There are
several video tapes for elderly in wheelchairs. It
could be simple arm lifts, walking or hand
32. Place calendars in their room
with large clocks. Don’t assume they can’t tell
Hug a lot.