Visiting our homes

Visiting a residential aged care home can be overwhelming at first, and particularly during the first few visits. Here you will find tips on what to do when you visit your loved one in an aged care home, specifically when visiting with children.

Visiting our homes

 

To help you and young children adjust to the environment of an aged care home and help you make the most out of your visit, below are suggestions of activities children can do with older family members living in residential aged care.

Download our brochure “Tips for family and friends visiting our homes” with further information about visiting aged care homes, including how to help prepare young children for visits on page two.

To help make visits to our aged care homes special and less daunting for young children, here is a list of tips and activities that you may like to consider:

  • Read page two of our “Tips for family and friends visiting our homes” brochure for suggestions of how to broach the topic of visiting an aged care home with young children.
  • Take a gift – Have your child choose it, wrap it and give it to your loved one. This gives the child a sense of responsibility and participation in the visit. Simple things such as new magazines, large print books, a scarf or pair of socks are great if you don’t already have something in mind.
  • Videotape family events, like school ceremonies, plays, sports activities, and make arrangements to show the videos to your loved one with your child. Showing family photos can also give older people a better sense of contact with family.
  • Watch a DVD together and bring some snacks. This may help the child and your loved one spend time together without having to talk so much.
  • If your child plays a musical instrument, why not contact the Facility Manager to organise a mini concert?
  • Have your child bring in art work from school and brighten up your loved one’s room by displaying the work.
  • Have your child read to your loved one – below we have created a list of themed books you may like to choose.
  • Complete a jigsaw or word find puzzle together. This activity will encourage brain activity and memory work. •
  • Play cards. Your loved one can teach your child different card games or vice versa.
  • Create a “Brag Book” – your child can bring in various certificates, photos of special events or ceremonies, and these can be included in a special book for the older person to keep. The book can be kept in your loved one’s room and is something the child can add to on each visit. You can also bring in different decorating items for the child and grandparent to decorate together.
  • Create a “Life Book”– your child can write the true story of their grandparent. This will encourage discussion, memory work and also engage the child in further activity and research. Encourage your child to add photographs and other memorabilia like letters.
  • Create a “Family Tree” – your child can create a family tree using the resident’s help.

Below is a list of suggested children’s books that have themes around residential care, older people, dementia and visiting family in an aged care home. You can read these books to your children to prepare them for visiting our aged care homes.

Book 1: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
Author: Mem Fox
Summary: Wilfred is a small boy who lives next door to an old people’s home. His favourite person there is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper. When Wilfred discovers Miss Nancy has lost her memory, it is only natural that he should set off to help her find it.
Themes: Dementia, Memory Loss, Aged care homes

Book 2: Still My Grandma
Author: Veronique Ven den Abeele
Summary: Camille and her grandma have a special friendship where they bake cupcakes and go out shopping together. One day Camille’s grandma forgets her name. Camille learns that her grandma has Alzheimer’s.
Themes: Dementia, Memory Loss, Aged care homes

Book 3: Say Hello, Lily
Author: Debora Lakritz
Summary: Lily wants to go with her mum to visit ‘Shalom House’ where her grandma lives. Lily is confused and doesn’t want to say hello. Through further visits Lily begins to open up and help serve birthday cake and talk to grandma and other residents
Themes: Aged care homes.

Book 4: The Memory Box
Author: Mary Bahr
Summary: When Gramps realizes he has Alzheimer's disease he starts a memory box with his grandson, Zach, to keep memories of all the times they have shared.
Themes: Alzheimer’s, Memory Loss

Book 5: Remember, Grandma?
Author: Laura Langston
Summary: Margaret's grandma is the special kind. She wears sneakers with yellow laces and laughs very loud. But lately Grandma gets mixed up. More and more she can't remember. She forgets the way home and sometimes she doesn't even know Margaret.
Themes: Memory Loss, Home Care

Further resource links

Click here to access a list of useful websites with further information on visiting family or friends living in residential aged care.