Successful Visiting

Adapted from Handbook for Successful Visiting

by Elizabeth McKean, Riverview Health Centre

Download or View Successful Visiting (pdf)

We hope that this information will make visiting a little easier and perhaps more rewarding for you and the resident. We encourage you to try out the different suggestions. Some will work and some won’t, but we hope the suggestions will help your visits become positive experiences.

It is not uncommon for people in your position to find it difficult and awkward to visit your loved one. You may not know what to say or do in these changed circumstances. But visits with family members and old friends are very important. It is the longstanding relationships in life—the ones that connect residents to their past—that are important in maintaining the meaning and quality of residents lives.

Goals of Visiting

Visiting is all about being together with people you care about, sharing present events and reliving past memories. Visits can also be an important time for both you and your family member or friend to heal past hurts and to grow closer together.

People visit to:

  • give the resident something to look forward to
  • help keep strong links between the residents family and community
  • stimulate physical and mental health abilities
  • maintain the residents sense of dignity and self worth
  • promote feelings of achievement
  • provide company, friendship, support and help
  • make sure the resident is receiving good care

If you keep these goals in mind, you may find that your visits become more meaningful.

Who Should Visit

Anyone who was important to the resident throughout his or her lifetime should visit. Arrowsmith Lodge and Cokely Manor have few restrictions on who can visit. Young children who are accompanied by their parents are very welcome.

Family pets are welcome, with these few restrictions:

  • the pet must be on a secure lead
  • the pet must be well behaved and able to interact calmly with other visiting pets & cats
  • the pet must have up to date vaccinations
  • please avoid dining room spaces and be sure to bring a waste pickup bag

When to visit

To choose the best time, please consider the following:

  • Does the resident have a good or bad time of day?
  • Does the resident have daily rest periods?
  • Are there scheduled appointments times that would interfere with your visits?
  • Is there a special Activity or Music Therapy program that you would like to attend with your relative/friend?
  • Does the resident have a special activity program that he or she would like to attend, but won’t or can’t while you are visiting?
  • Does the resident have other regular visitors?
  • Can these visits be spread out through the week or month?
  • One visitor at a time may be more enjoyable for the resident that several visitors at once. When a number of visitors come at one time, the resident may get left out while the visitors talk to each other.
  • Is there a special out-of-town person visiting this week? Maybe this is a good week for you to take a well deserved break.
  • If you are feeling guilty because the resident claims that visitors never come (but you know that they do!), keep a guest book in the room for all visitors to sign. It can be nice to review the guest book together and talk about the people who have been by.