Tips for Visiting a Seniors Aged Care Home
Visiting a local aged care home can be a fun and rewarding experience for all parties involved! If you are thinking of organising a visit with your playgroup for the first time, we’ve listed some of our top tips to help you:
- Aged Care Staff are great with directing activities and can guide you on the level of interactions, so in the first instance it is best to check with them and ask for their suggestions.
- A new environment and a lot of new faces may be overwhelming for little ones. It is okay to have a small area with toys on a rug or drawing available to help them settle.
- Engagement with the seniors is key – activities to encourage interaction might include tea set, parachute, skittles, bubbles and singing nursery rhymes.
- Story time, perhaps with a senior reading or co-reading, is a special time where all generations can experience the magic of books together.
- Where possible, give people (including/especially seniors), roles and jobs to help them take an active part and feel part of the playgroup. Some senior members of the group feel self-conscious that they are out of practice with being with young families and children. Taking the focus off themselves and on a role to do can ease the pressure they’re putting on themselves and also give them a positive profile in the group.
- Music and songs are always fun however using actual instruments may be too loud for the residents so it’s a good idea to be mindful of this.
- Name badges help everyone get to learn each other’s names. Using people’s names makes all the difference for helping both families and seniors settle into playgroup. For children, you can put their names on their backs so they cannot take them off as easily.
- Seniors might be in wheelchairs and therefore are unable to get down on to the floor. Setting up some activities at a table will encourage everyone to participate.
- For health and wellbeing, do not attend the facility if you or your child is unwell.
It’s also important to remember that older seniors may also have varying degrees of dementia. Alzheimer’s WA have developed “5 Simple Tips to Connect with a person living with dementia”:
- Talk to me – Please talk to me, not just my carer, family member or friend. Don’t prejudge my level of understanding.
- Keep questions simple – Providing information in small chunks will really help me. Verbal and written information is helpful.
- Body language – Make eye contact, speak clearly and pace the information, with one idea at a time. Please avoid using jargon.
- Be patient and understanding – Sometimes it take a little longer for me to process information and find the right answer. Don’t rush me, allow me time to speak. Don’t make me feel bad for repeating myself.
- Distractions cause disruptions – Less noise and fewer distractions will help me to focus. Poor lighting can be just as distracting.
- Please treat me with dignity and respect
Want more advice on organising an excursion to an Aged Care Home? Get in touch with us today on 9228 8088 or email our hotline.