In our society, we often emphasize acquiring material possessions. We are taught that if we have more things, then we are better people. However empathy, charity, understanding, and love are the things that make us kind and caring individuals. And the best way to teach our kids these virtues is by example.
When we show them how to care for others, be kind and considerate of others, and be generous and respectful towards everyone, our kids will learn what it means to be a good and caring person. Visiting the residents of senior centers is a great way to care for others.
They have stories, memories, and experiences that we can all relate to. We can learn from them. We can teach our kids the same things we learned from them. Often, residents in nursing homes have few visitors and family members. This can be very lonely, so having groups visit is much needed.
The elderly are people with feelings and stories to share. Visiting a nursing home can be a great way to show your children empathy. Not everyone lives a fast-paced, busy life that sometimes people need a lot of help taking care of themselves.
Nursing homes are often filled with men and women who have seen and done much in their lives. By talking to these residents, your kids can learn about history firsthand.
Nursing homes also allow your children to give back to the community. Most nursing homes are always in need of volunteers, and what better way for kids to learn about giving back than by helping out those less fortunate? Keep in mind with the changes brought about by the pandemic, it's important to plan your visit ahead of time. If you have a nursing facility you would like to visit, call ahead to the director or their staff. They can point you in the right direction to plan your activity.
Nursing homes often have events scheduled, whether it be a movie night, activity, religious service, or a special guest. The administrative staff can help you plan your visit to coordinate with any events they are already planning. For church groups, they will probably schedule a certain day and time for your visit. Be aware there may be special precautions or restrictions due to COVID-19.
Finally, visiting a nursing home can be a great way for your family to bond. It can be an emotional experience, but it will stay with your children forever.
Make sure you teach the kids some ground rules
One of the most difficult things about visiting a nursing home is not knowing what to expect. You may see residents in wheelchairs or others who may not be able to converse. Talk with your children about what they may see during their visit, especially if you have small children present.
It is important to explain that not everyone in the nursing home can speak or move around independently. Some people may be sleeping or taking naps. Let your children know that it is okay to say hello to those who are awake and offer toys or books to read. Allowing kids to be present while you visit with the residents is a good starting point.
Plan your visit in advance
If you want to visit a loved one in a nursing home, again it's important to plan and schedule in advance. Mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and early evening are often the best times to visit. Be sure to contact the nursing home before your visit to verify that your loved one is available and to get any necessary visitor information.
Some nursing facilities may allow you to join your loved one for mealtimes. Again, be aware of the policies and help your visit go well by being friendly and respectful to staff and other residents.
Engage in a meaningful conversation with the elderly
When visiting a nursing home, it is important to respect the elderly residents. However, being willing to have a deep conversation with them and ask about their life is also important.
This may help them open up about any potential nursing home abuse they may be experiencing. It is crucial to listen carefully to any allegations of abuse by elderly family members or loved ones, and report them immediately. By doing so, we can help ensure the safety of our elderly loved ones.
Contact a personal injury lawyer
There are attorneys helping victims of nursing home abuse and protecting their rights for neglect and abuse.
Many families don't know what to do when they suspect their loved one is being abused in a nursing home. They may not even be aware that abuse is happening. Attorneys specializing in elder law can provide advice and guidance on protecting your loved ones from abuse and ensuring their rights are being protected. They can also help file a lawsuit if necessary.
Nursing homes are one of our society's most important yet often overlooked institutions. Nursing homes provide a necessary service for our elderly population and those with long term nursing care needs– and their quality of life greatly depends on them.
If you don't have a family member in a nursing home, I strongly urge you to contact one nearby and see if they'd be interested in your family visiting the residents. Nursing homes often host regular events, such as sing-alongs, movie nights, and more. This is a great way for family members and residents to spend time together and get to know each other. Thanks for reading! If you've visited nursing home residents before and have a fun idea for activities or a great experience to share, be sure to comment on this post or on Facebook.
Photos via Canva; this post includes no photos actual nursing homes.
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