If your loved one has been moved into an Eastleigh care home in Minehead (or elsewhere) because they have become too frail to look after themselves, this can be very worrying for children who may not fully understand the considerations behind such a move. But taking your child to see their relative in their new home is a great way to help your elderly loved one settle in, and can also help to reassure your child that Grandma or Grandpa is being well-looked after. Here are some ways to help prepare your child for their first visit to a care home.
Tell Them What it Will Be Like
Explain to your child what kind of a set-up the home has. Knowing that Granny or Gramps has their own private living space can be a relief for shy children who want to speak to their relative, but are too shy to do so in front of others. If your elderly relative has dementia, do warn the children that if the resident is having a bad day, you won’t stay too long, and might not get to visit with their grandparent as thoroughly as they might have liked. Knowing what to expect can take a lot of the stress out of the visit, so do be honest, so their expectations are met.
Remind Them of Their Manners
While the children might have been able to run a little wild at their grandparent’s house in the past, remind that things have changed and that the grandparent is now sharing their living quarters with other people. Therefore the children should use their inside voices, speak politely to the other residents, and generally behave politely until they are safe and sound in their grandparents’ room.
Tell Your Relative That You’re Coming
Do warn your relative that you are coming, so they are prepared for your children to descend on them! Just as it is better for your child to be prepared, so it is for your elderly relative!
Visit on an Activity Day
Try to visit the care home on an activity day when there will be other children visiting their grandparents and taking part. This will be a lovely way for your parent and children to re-establish their bond, so the rest of the visit – and all future visits – go well, with all parties content to spend time together.
If All Else Fails: Distract Them!
While older children should be able to be relied upon to be mannerly, even if they are uncomfortable or wish to leave; this is not so easy with younger children who can become whiny, fretful or even throw temper tantrums. If this is your child’s personality, take steps to ward off any unpleasant behaviour by bringing along a book, a puzzle or even a hand-held game for them to sit with quietly, while you finish your visit.