Five Meaningful Ways to Stay Close to a Loved One in a Care Home
Navigating the challenges of having a loved one in a care home can be emotionally demanding, but maintaining a strong connection is paramount for their well-being. Distance and physical barriers shouldn’t hinder the bonds that have been built over a lifetime. Here are five ways to stay connected with a loved one in a care home.
1. Virtual Visits
In today’s digital age, the power of virtual communication cannot be overstated. Platforms like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime offer the opportunity for face-to-face conversations, bridging the physical gap between you and your loved one. Schedule regular virtual visits to share updates about your life, listen to their stories, or simply enjoy each other’s company. Seeing a familiar face can provide comfort and reassurance.
2. Write a Letter
Despite digital communication being the main way we tend to communicate nowadays, there’s a timeless charm in receiving handwritten letters. Take the time to craft heartfelt messages, share memories, or send photos through traditional mail. You can also encourage other family members, including children, to contribute artwork or letters, resulting in a collective effort to provide a lovely surprise for your loved one to open.
3. Create a Shared Playlist
Music has a unique ability to evoke emotions and memories. Collaborate with your loved one to create a shared playlist of songs that hold special meaning. Whether it’s tunes from their youth, favourite artists, or songs that tell your shared story, listening to this playlist can bring a sense of connection and joy.
4. Celebrate Special Occasions
Just because your loved one is in a care home doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions together. Coordinate with the care home staff to arrange a small party or celebration, even if it’s virtual. Send a care package with their favourite treats, decorations, or a personalised gift to make the day memorable. Sharing these moments, even from a distance, reinforces the sense of connection and family.
5. Participate in Care Home Activities
Stay involved in your loved one’s daily life by participating in care home activities. At Oakland Care, we organise events, workshops, and outings for our residents on a regular basis. Attend virtual family days, join in on themed events, or contribute to group projects. This not only shows your commitment to being an active part of the community but also provides shared experiences that you can discuss during your conversations.
While physical separation is a reality when a loved one is in a care home, emotional and spiritual connections can be strengthened through intentional efforts. Embrace the available technologies, maintain traditional forms of communication, and actively participate in your loved one’s life. These small gestures go a long way in making them feel loved, valued, and connected, fostering a sense of belonging despite the physical distance.
At Oakland Care, we really do encourage our residents’ families to be involved as much as possible in their loved ones lives, and we love nothing more than families visiting as much as possible. We know though, that this is not always practical especially if families live a long way away, or work very long hours, so hope if you have a loved one in a care home, and you can’t visit as often as you would like for whatever reason, these ideas may help you stay in touch and feel part of their life.
Find out more about our exceptional lifestyles at Oakland Care