Visiting a nursing home with a child can be difficult. It may even be confusing or upsetting for your children. However, it is important that you do your best to do so. Firstly, it is good for your children to have interactions with elderly people and learn from them. Furthermore, for those in nursing homes, children bring great energy and a sense of love and entertainment. Although it might be difficult at first, over time, your child will become accustomed to visiting. However, there are some things that you can do to make it easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
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Prepare your child
Take time to prepare your child before visiting. Let them know as best you can about what to expect. Make them aware of what condition your loved one is in and prepare them for getting lots of attention from other residents. Find out more about how to prepare your child before going into a nursing home here.
Get to know the staff
Having support from staff is extremely important in a nursing home. Furthermore, if you can help your child to get to know the staff, it will help them to feel comfortable there. They may even look forward to seeing some of the staff who should be warm and caring people.
Don’t leave your child alone
Don’t leave your child on their own. Firstly, you are in people’s homes, and you do not want your child running into someone’s room if they are not expecting it. Respect their privacy. Most residents will probably be thrilled to see a child there, but some may not be. Try to avoid creating too much noise and be aware that some people could be sleeping or poorly. Furthermore, if you are in a home with people with dementia, then some residents could be aggressive or on the flip side, want to provide your child with lots of affection. This could be frightening for them.
Bring things to keep your child entertained
You don’t want your child to be bored and causing too much of a fuss. Bring something they will enjoy doing so that you can also spend quality time with the person you are visiting. Although it is important to spend time with the resident, also know when your child has had enough, and it is time to leave. Dragging out your time, there may make them not want to return.
Encourage your child to interact with who you are visiting
It is important that you encourage interaction so that your child can form a bond with your loved one. Perhaps you could get your child to draw them something or find an activity that the resident can help your child with. For older children, you may want to think of some conversation topics that your child will enjoy. The resident may find great enjoyment in telling your child a bit about themselves. For some activity ideas that children and elderly people can do together, click here.