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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nursing Home Visits, A Guest Post.

This morning, I have invited Amber Paley, who writes about nursing home abuse at www.nursinghomeabuse.net to write a guest article here. Amber, in addition to her work at NHA DOT NET, is a frequent guest blogger and article writer. Today she is bringing to us tips for taking children to nursing homes. I asked her to do so for a number of reasons. One is that I have recently joined a home school adopt a grandparent group that is going to be visiting nursing homes with their children.

Let's give a very special HSD welcome to Amber Paley! Also Amber did not realize this but she is participating this week in Six Word Saturday at ShowMyFaceDotCom.

Her Six Words . . .

Nursing Homes: Tips for Taking Children

Visiting a loved one who lives in a nursing home with your family can be a great experience for all of those involved. Here are some tips for your trips:

1. Talk to You Children about the Facility in Advance.

Try to communicate to your children what they should expect at the nursing home. Explain that some people in the home have disabilities that cause them to need wheel chairs, walkers, etc.; also explain that some residents can become confused and/or unresponsive.

2. Plan Trips in Advance.

Planning trips in advance will not only give your loved ones something to look forward to, but also allow you to plan the time of day you visit. For loved ones with mental and physical disabilities, this is imperative. Certain times of the day are better while others are worse; make sure you find out which times of the day are best for a visit to your loved one to ensure the best trip possible for everyone.

3. Plan Fun Child-Loved One Activities.

Planning activities that will engage both your elder and children will make the experience fun for everyone. Some children can be shy; games help everyone be more comfortable.

Here are some ideas for what to do . . .

Play! Checkers, Chess, Card Games, Board Games.

Make arts and crafts. Holiday Ornaments and Decorations (Christmas tree ornaments, Hanukah decorations, etc.), Scrapbooks, Family Photo Books.

Read to each other. If possible, have loved one read to your child and or Have your child read to your loved one.

Engage each other.

1. Have everyone decorate your loved one’s room for the holidays.
2. Sing familiar songs or holiday songs.
3. If your child plays a small instrument, have them play it for your loved one.
4. Many facilities host events and activities, make sure to get a facility calendar so that you and your children can participate in these things with your elder.
5. Look through old family albums.
6. Try to bring items with you that both your children and loved one both love and can enjoy together.
7. Have your children do arts and crafts in advance to give to your loved one as a gift.
8. Share current events and experiences in your life and your children’s lives with your loved one; show him or her pictures of your pets, your children’s soccer games, etc.
9. Ask your loved one about the things going on in their life and be sure to listen intently.

Get moving. Take a walk with your loved one and children around and outside of the facility. If your loved one is able, take day trips. Some ideas are:

GO TO . . .

The park for a picnic.
A local parade.
Have ice cream or lunch.
To a family reunion.
To get his or her hair done.

4. Most Importantly, Be Affectionate!
Nursing home residents do not get much direct human contact at the facilities other than when they are assisted by facility personnel. Your loved one will love hugs, kisses, and when you hold his or her hand. Make sure to have your children be affectionate with your elder; it will make his or her day.

Thanks Amber for a wonderful post. I always am open to having a guest blogger here at HSD. You have to admit, Amber set the bar pretty high. So if you have a post that's got some game, get in touch with me. For More Six Word Saturday click here.

Next Time: Sunday's Cool for Spiderdroids.


  1. I liked all her advice! I think the interaction between children and the elderly, whether through nursing home or "grandparent" vounteers in school is so beneficial for both! I think people sometimes shy away from nursing home visits because they don't know what to do, how to interact, etc. Her advice is pricelss to help people make a connection like this and benefit each other! Great six words and entry!


  2. Having worked in a nursing home, I know the value and importance of every visit that arrives there......

  3. These are great tips, Amber. Thank you!


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