Deciding whether or not to bring young children to visit a loved one in a care home can be a difficult decision. Some parents may not think it’s appropriate for their little ones to be in a care setting.
However, there have been many studies about the benefits of the older and younger generation socialising. Much like Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, young children visiting care homes can usually have a positive impact on residents emotional, social and physical wellbeing.
We welcome visitors with open arms at Blenheim House, and that includes children too! If your loved one has recently moved in to a care home and you want to take your children to visit them, consider the following:
Explain the situation It’s always a good idea to sit and explain to your child about why their loved one has moved in to a care home, especially if they have never visited a home before. Try getting them to think of it as a lovely big house, filled with lots of new friends and plenty for your loved one to do, so it doesn’t sound boring or scary!
Prepare them for what they might see If they’re old enough to understand, you may need to explain that there are lots of people living at the care home and some of the people living there might be unwell. It’s always best to prepare them so they don’t feel uneasy about what they see or hear. People living with dementia often have bad days, so if your loved one has dementia you may want to explain that their relative may be acting a bit different than usual, but it’s still the same person that they know and love.
Give them things to do It’s no secret that children can get bored easily, so making sure your little one has something to do to keep them occupied is a great way of making them feel comfortable. Bring some of their favourite toys along so they can play, or some colouring or a board game so your loved one can join in too.