Care home visits

Getting the support that you need

Members of Alzheimer's Society's online community understand the challenges of visiting someone with dementia in a care home, as featured in Living with dementia magazine.

Looking at old photos

Seeing family and friends regularly can make a big difference to a person with dementia after moving into a care home. However, even when someone has settled well into a home, it can be tough to think of how to make your visits as meaningful as possible, especially as their dementia becomes more advanced.

It is important to remember that you are not alone. Many people find it useful to share experiences on Talking Point, our online support community, where lots of people will understand what you are going through.

Activities

Talking Point members have suggested activities like creating a photo album or scrapbook of memories to look through. Depending on what the person likes, things worth trying could include reading a newspaper together, playing cards, knitting, using an adult colouring book or doing a large-piece jigsaw.

The impact of these activities might not always be immediate or obvious, but finding ways to engage and stimulate the person can make visits more meaningful for everyone.

Other tips that people have shared include bringing familiar things that the person can have in their room, like photographs of family and friends, pictures and trinkets to make it more homely. These could also prompt things to talk about.

Time and space

Visiting a friend or relative in a care home can have an impact on you, and it can help to give yourself a bit of time and space afterwards. On Talking Point, people have recommended planning something for yourself after the visit, like going for a walk, reading, listening to music, meeting a friend or doing something creative.

The Talking Point community gives you a place to talk about how you’re coping, hear from others and share ideas. There are forums for challenges that can arise in all stages of dementia. Sharing your situation and how it affects you can help you feel less alone and more able to handle things..

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