Six Fun Ways to Spice Up Trips When Visiting Your Parent in a Nursing Home

an elderly lady blowing bubbles
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When visiting your loved one in a nursing home, simply going to chat can prove invaluable to them (and to you). However, when you want to make a trip extra special, finding ways to dress up your trips is a fantastic idea. Knowing what makes your loved one’s heart leap, and their mind feel young again, can ensure your next trip is one to remember. To get you started on your plans, here are six fun ways to spice up trips when visiting your parent in a nursing home:

1. Bring Music to Enjoy Together

Music is one of the most scientifically proven ways to reduce agitation, increase happiness and boost your mood. Especially given your loved one’s advanced age, keeping them unstressed and happy is key to their quality of life. Find an old record or mixtape that they used to love, and bring it with you to add ambience to your next visit to their nursing home. Who knows, the extra atmosphere might unlock trips down memory lane that will inspire them to share brand-new (to you) memories with you.

2. Help Them Get Some Fresh Air

If your loved one can go outside comfortably for long periods of time or can take trips away from their home, getting out into some fresh air is a great way to make them feel young and healthy again. There are typically wonderful outdoor areas attached to nursing homes, but you could take them to a local park or other nearby outdoor location packed with fun as well. This is one of the best strategies for keeping your loved one happy, healthy and young.

3. Help Them Relive One of Their Favorite Shows or Movies

Music is not the only art form that’s perfect for boosting mood and rekindling fond memories. Especially for older people, the golden ages of film they’ve lived through provide a treasure trove of experiences they can relive. Bring some of their favourite shows or movies on your next visit, and you can have a relaxing, thrilling way to bond with your loved one. You can even leave some of the movies behind (or set them up with a quality streaming service that has some of their favourites) to keep them entertained when you’re not there to visit with them.

4. Bring a Family Member or Friend They Haven’t Seen in a While

As much as we want to think all of their friends and family members will visit as regularly as they can, our loved ones are likely to find themselves alone more often than they would like. One way of helping to alleviate the frustration of this happening is by inviting friends and family of your loved one to accompany you on your next visit. Doing so will help bring joy and nostalgia into your loved one’s heart, and make this visit to their nursing home one of the most memorable ones yet.

Having someone visit that goes long spans without seeing the elderly person can also be good from a safety perspective. They may be able to point out something new that someone who seems them regularly has noticed. This can be weight loss, changes in skin or appearance, and even a big change in their cognitive level. Some of those changes can even be caused by their level of care. This is important to constantly check, that way you can also decide whether you have the right care home for your parent. Look for places that can actively show that they are the best. Northcare’s commitment to providing personalized care and support plans ensures that each individual has the chance for optimal quality of life.

5. Have an Indoor Picnic

Elderly loved ones are not always able to enjoy the outdoors for long periods at a time (especially if they are living in a colder climate). That being said, you can always bring one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities, picnicking, indoors. Bring a quilt that will bring up old memories in your loved ones, some of their favourite snacks, and a fun game to play, and you’ll be fully prepared for an excellent indoor picnic.

6. Help Them with a Makeover

When you’re in the same location most days, it can be easy to forget about dressing up and looking stylish (aside from days where the home is throwing a fun event, that is). For many elderly people, nothing brings them joy quite like looking their best. By bringing some of their favourite makeup or styling products, and having a full-fledged makeover date with them, you can make them feel beautiful and young again. This is an especially great activity for when you bring some grandchildren along to visit their elderly loved ones.

Ask Your Loved One for Even More Ways to Make Your Visits Exciting

Sometimes your elderly loved ones will have ideas for things they’d like to do that would never come to your mind. Simply sitting down and asking them ways you can make their life at the home more exciting and fulfilling is crucial, and can help them feel appreciated in a way they will truly cherish. Doing so will ensure you have endless ways to make your visits fun, memorable, and full of love as well.

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