The importance of external visitors and activities for care home residents

Here at Fulford, like many nursing homes across the country, we actively encourage external visitors to regularly visit their loved ones — while also promoting a year-round calendar of social activities. The result is increased morale and improved mental and physical well-being among residents.

In this short post, we explore the benefits of visiting loved ones in a care home, explain why nursing home day trips matter more than ever, and share some examples of our recent social activities.

Why regular visits to your loved ones are essential

It’s sometimes easy to put off visiting a loved one in care. Maybe you’re busy with work or childcare. Or perhaps you feel guilty, or helpless, or scared. However, maintaining regular visits to your loved one is vital if they’re to settle in and be reassured that important relationships will continue as they did before they entered the nursing home.

It’s also often the case that your loved one moving to a nursing home is overwhelming for you, too. If you were providing care at home, it can be a drastic change of pace. Yet, by visiting, you’ll see that it’s simply a change of postcode. Once you and your loved one have settled into a routine, you’ll come to appreciate that you’ll have more time to spend with one another, rather than around one another. 

Finally, stopping by regularly also benefits your loved one’s mental and physical health. According to studies, social isolation was associated with a 50% increase in the risk of dementia in older adults, while loneliness brought a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke. Making time to visit — and making those visits meaningful — can help your loved one remain engaged, active, and happier while in care. 

Tips to make the most of your visits

So, what can you say and do once the “hellos” and hugs are out of the way? Here are a few ideas to make the most of your nursing home visits: 

  • Prepare ahead of time. Make a list of things to talk about, whether it’s news about family, things in the local community, or current events. You could even bring the local newspaper.
  • Bring items of interest from home. Load your tablet up with family photos or favourite music, or dig out old letters, postcards, or holiday souvenirs to spark happy memories. 
  • Pick a book by their favourite author. Read aloud together over a cup of tea and share in the story.
  • Play games. Cards, chess, checkers, or board games can be a fun way to spend a few hours together.
  • Indulge in self-care. Maybe your loved one likes having their nails painted, their hair brushed or combed, or their hands massaged. Many residents enjoy a little pampering now and again, and it’s a nice way to feel close again after time apart. 

Read more: 5 self-care tips and activities for seniors to try

Nursing home day trips have never been more important

In addition to regular visits, it’s also important for residents to get out and about. After the last few years of lockdowns and social distancing, day trips have taken on renewed significance. It gives residents the opportunity to step out of their day-to-day routine, share experiences with fellow residents or family members, and make new memories. 

That’s why we offer a variety of activities and events outside of the nursing home year-round, including trips to the theatre, museums, the seaside, and shopping centres.

We recently wrote about our favourite senior-friendly activities in and around York to give you an idea of what we get up to with our residents — and in the next section, we share some photos from recent events.

A recap of our recent social activities

Fred enjoyed a shopping trip and fish & chips for tea.

Janet and Peter celebrated their wedding anniversary.

Muriel celebrated her 90th birthday.

In October, we carved pumpkins.

We look forward to welcoming you to Fulford

If you have a loved one staying with us, we’ll be glad to help you arrange your visit. Just give us a call to let us know when you’d like to stop by. 

Generally speaking, visiting hours are in the afternoon, as our mornings are usually spent helping our residents get dressed and ready for the day. And if you’d like to take your loved one out for the day, we can help you prepare for and risk assess your trip.

If you have any questions about Fulford, our visiting schedule, or our social activities, please contact us on 01904 654 269.

Share this post