How to Make Your Visits More Meaningful: Suggestions for Families


Very often when a loved one moves into a skilled nursing program/nursing home, there are so many feelings that a caregiver or friend can feel. It is such a transition that often
times become strange, awkward, or less meaningful. Loved ones are often weaker or are experiencing health problems and don’t often have as much energy as they use to. The
fear of the unknown is also at times overwhelming. Our hope is that caregivers can ease through these feelings and come to enjoy frequent visits with their loved ones. At
VHS facilities we welcome family and friends to visit as often as they want and hope that each visit is special and helps to provide Quality of Life for our residents. We have
listed a few suggestions to help make your visits more meaningful for both you and your loved one.

1. Prepare for your visit ahead of time. Bring items of interest to the resident. For example, if the resident has a love of pets, bring your pet to visit. If the resident
has a love of music, bring a CD to play while in the room.

2. Bring favorite food for the visit. (Make sure to adhere to the diet recommended by the dietician and physician.)

3. Reminisce about past life experiences. Bring in old family photographs.

4. Personalize their room. Look at how you can make their room pretty while at the same time reflecting their personality. You could put up sports banners if they were into sports. Add family photos, pictures on the wall, decorator pillows or pretty afghans.

5. Read to the resident. Bring a book by their favorite author and read to them.

6. Bring flowers from your garden.

7. Include children in the visit. Bring things for the children to do. It could be a children’s book that the child could read to the resident.

8. Share their children bulletin with them.

9. Bring the local paper and share some of the community events that are going on.

10. Share events happening in your family.

11. Share a meal with them. You may purchase a meal and eat with your loved one in the main dining room, or in one of our private dining rooms.

12. Residents enjoy feeling pretty. You could bring nail polish and do a manicure or fix their hair.

13. Bring games they enjoyed; checkers, cards, chess, word puzzles.

14. Assist the resident with writing a letter.

15. Decorate their room for the seasons, with decorations that are holiday or season specific.

Article Reprinted with Permission from


Great Place to Work logo
Best Workplaces in Aging Services logo
AHCA Awards