Thank you to our friend Ryan for another great guest post:
How Often Should We Visit Our Loved Ones
Who Are In Care?
Most individuals realize the difficulty of
the decision to choose to send a loved one to an assisted living or care home facility; however, few
people understand the ongoing concern after that decision has been made. Even
just deciding when to visit and for how long is a heavily weighed choice for
most as visiting can provoke a variety of emotions for both parties involved.
For individuals visiting, the visit can prompt feelings of sadness or
frustration, and the same is true for the loved one who is living in the
facility. Either way, following a few guidelines for visiting is important to
experience the most beneficial visit and to keep everyone’s feelings and
One of the biggest questions individuals have when it comes to visiting regards
how often can and should we visit. While individuals working at the nursing
home may suggest that it is best to let them handle the loved one’s adjustment
period, the truth is, you and your family are your loved one’s link to his or
her identity. You are the one constant in his or her life. That being said,
visiting frequently is a good way to help your loved one adjust. Nevertheless,
the frequency should be determined by your personal schedule as well as your
loved one’s needs. One to two times a month may be doable and appropriate for
some families and situations while others may require much less or much more.
The true key, however, is consistency. Try to set aside a certain time each
month or week to regularly visit the loved one and keep it consistent. This
factor will help ground your loved one and help you plan your time more easily.
In addition to frequent visits, keeping a few other things in mind for visiting
will help both you and your loved one throughout the process.
• The visit should be simple. While it may seem fun to bring several things to
do with your loved one or to have several people come during the visit, these
elements can make the time overwhelming. Remember to keep it simple when you
visit and to focus on the together time as moments of joy.
• A quiet, comfortable space is the most enjoyable for visiting. The point of
the visit is to spend time with your loved one, so look for a place to visit
that is free of distraction. Consider a porch, chapel, or even just the loved
• Be flexible. Depending on when you visit each time, your loved one may be
participating in different tasks. Be flexible and avoid being overbearing. If
you are on a time schedule, consider calling ahead to see when would be the
best time to visit.
• Make the visit about your loved one. Consider your loved one’s interest prior
to coming and think about what he or she may enjoy doing, but don’t make
prejudgments. Once you have arrived ask your loved one how he or she wants to
spend the time together and be flexible.
Whether you are able to visit once a week, a couple of times a month, or a few
times a year, make the times you do get to enjoy count. Remember to focus on
the individual and to include him or her in the decision making. Most of all
just spend time together.
Ryan is a Freelance writer and health enthusiast. He is in his final year of nursing and passionate about helping others and sharing his thoughts on the online world.