When you have loved ones in a nursing home, going to visit them is important. Your visit can absolutely make their day or even week. While it can be hard to remember to visit as often as possible, making these meet-ups part of your routine is worthwhile for you, your loved one, and the rest of your family.

But, if you have children, they might find the visits boring. There are many ways to foster generosity and the importance of caring for others while also helping your kids have a little fun. 

Here are some ideas for making going to the nursing home with your kids more enjoyable. 

Participate In Any Events Together

Depending on the nursing home, the facility may offer programs for the seniors living there and potentially even for loved ones. Music programs are beneficial for people of all ages, and especially for seniors who benefit from how music invokes memory retention. Music programs also provide a mood boost for everyone who joins in on the fun.  If they have any of these events, even something small like bringing in a singer or musician, this would be a perfect time to bring your family. 

It will be easier for kids to process that their relative or loved one is living in a home if they see them enjoying themselves. Plus, having an activity to do or something else to focus on could lead to some bonding moments that make everyone happy.

Help Your Children Bring Crafts Or Gifts

An excellent way to get children involved in supporting their loved one at a nursing home is to have them make a craft or other gift to bring. You can assist them in drawing a picture or putting together a collage. 

Or, if the senior likes flowers or certain foods, you could help your child pick flowers or cook a meal with you to bring to the visit. 

Some great crafts for both seniors and children include:

  • Beaded bracelets: Use brightly colored beads that are big enough to easily grab and add to a string.
  • Greeting cards: You can get paper scraps to encourage creativity. These cards can then be sent to your senior’s other loved ones. 
  • Coloring books: There are many adult coloring books with all kinds of art. You could have your kids pick out a coloring book they like and one for their older relative. 

Getting them involved will teach them service and compassion, and it’s also a good way to start conversations. Most likely, the senior you love will appreciate having something to personalize their room, which is essential according to caregiving experts

Make The Event Exciting By Rewarding Good Behavior

While you don’t necessarily want to reward your children when they are compassionate and caring for others, it doesn’t hurt to make a routine of stopping to get an ice cream as a family or something similar after or before a visit. If possible, you could even bring your loved one a special treat, too.

Share Family Memories

One of the best ways to connect the various generations is to bring along photos. You can help your older relatives at the assisted living facility connect to their youth and memories and tell your kids these family stories. This activity is great for bonding and establishing the family history you share. 

Remember To Be Consistent

The Association for Long Term Care Planning mentions the importance of consistency when it comes to supporting your loved ones who live in assisted living facilities. Being consistent helps them feel loved and also ensures that they are getting more of their emotional needs met.

This consistency is also good if you have kids. They’ll feel more comfortable visiting if it’s something you do on a regular basis. While sometimes younger children might not know how to act around people who are much older or sick, they will quickly adjust if it becomes something you all do as a family. Just be sure to talk to them about why people live in the facility and answer any questions they might have. 

Teach About Family And Care

While fun is nice, it’s not the most important thing in life. Even if your kids don’t find visiting a nursing home fun, help them see that caring for others is more important than always having a party.