Anyone who has been through the experience of placing a loved one into aged care wonders how easily they will settle into their new environment. In many cases, residents thrive – especially if daily life in independent living was getting too much. In other cases, residents can find the change difficult and become more withdrawn. Finding ways to make your loved one feel special, connected and happy while residing in aged care will go a long way to support their health, wellbeing and quality of life.
Schedule a visit.
Sounds obvious but visitors can bring so much joy to a resident in aged care when allowed. You can take some activities to help pass the time such as a game of dominoes, colouring-in, even trivia. Many aged care homes will allow you to bring pets for a visit too, which usually brings smiles to residents.
Schedule Skype, Zoom or Facetime calls.
Since the lockdown of many aged care facilities due to COVID, most facilities have set up the option for residents to take video calls from friends and loved ones. Extended family members don’t have to visit when they can dial in from all over the world, helping your loved one feel more connected and special.
Send decoration packs.
While aged care facilities usually go all-out at holiday time, having some personal decorations for a room can bring a touch-of-home. Whether it be a pack of small Christmas trinkets, some little easter bunnies or even Halloween fun, receiving a package of decorations can bring a lot of happiness.
Surprise them with a letter.
Even with technology, a regular letter in the mail is sure to make your loved one’s day. Pop in the latest news along with a few photographs to make them feel loved and special.
Take them on an outing.
Activities such as a visit to the local bakery for a coffee, a trip to the local supermarket to get favourite toiletries, a stroll past boutiques to see the latest clothing, even a drive through the local area to see what has been happening in the suburb can help break the monotony and prevent cabin fever.
Organise a magazine subscription.
Regular delivery of a magazine provides something to look forward to each month and a few hours of entertainment. While there is plenty to watch on television these days, nothing beats the magazine’s tactile feel, the editorial content, and the glossy pictures.
Bring some of their favourite foods.
If they used to love to bake, try replicating one of their recipes. If they loved a particular packet of cookies, tea, lollies or fruits, bring a few for them to keep in their cupboards. If they had a favourite restaurant or fast-food chain, bring in some takeaway once in a while. These little touches-of-home are a sure way to make them feel special.
Organise a pampering session.
Most aged care homes have hairdressing services but what about organising a head, hand or foot massage, makeup and styling session, complete with some new clothes to try on at the home.
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