Visit, but phone first! You don't want to be there when they are receiving care. Keep your visit SHORT, e.g., 10 min. to half hour, to an hour, depending upon their situation.
Wash your hands before and after your visit.
Talk to them...
- Talk to them about the past
- Listen to them
- Talk to them about what you are doing
- Take in photos that show their impact on your life, e.g., things you did together
- Ask them about family photos
- Read to them from a magazine or articles they may be interested in
- Take in YOUR family photos to show them what they are up to
- Talk to them about what is going on in the world
- Tell them how much they mean to you
- Talk about how proud they are of their family
- Tell them how proud they family is of them
- Ask about their early life
- Ask about grandparents, extended family members
- Read them poetry, prayers, or psalms
- Bring in an order of service from a spiritual institution
- Sing them their favourite hymns (I take in my hymn book!)
- Offer to do small tasks- it means a lot. I changed a light bulb for a client!
- Take in meals for family members
- Bake cookies or muffins, with ingredients (e.g., nuts) listed
- Offer to provide respite care while a caregiver goes to the store or does an errand
- Answer questions truthfully
- Listen to their worries
- Rub their hands or feet (wash throughly first- ask if it is alright to touch them)
- Take photos of visitors so that family members know who has been there
- Leave a written note so that family knows who was there and/or brought what (Many are comforted by knowing, often residents cannot remember who visited.)
- Refrain from leaving plants that must be repotted or cared for in some way, or flowers that may cause allergic reactions (i.e., lilies)