How can I make my visit with my family member or friend easier or more rewarding?

Tips for Successful 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.

Who Should Visit

Anyone who was important to the resident throughout his or her lifetime should visit. Care facilities, such as Riverview Health Centre, generally have few or no restrictions on who can visit. Young children and pets are usually welcome. Pets are not allowed in areas where food is served. Ask the staff if there are any rules about pets visiting.

When to Visit

Most facilities have very few restrictions on when you can visit. However, to make sure your time with the resident is worthwhile for both of you, you may need to consider certain factors, such as:

  • Does the resident have a “good” or “bad” time of day? There is no point in visiting in the afternoon if the resident can?t stay awake during this time.
  • Are there scheduled appointment times ? with the physician or other specialists (dentist) ? that would interfere with your visit? If you visit during these times, you’ll spend most of the visit waiting for the resident to come back from an appointment.
  • Is there a special recreation program that you would like to attend with your relative/friend? Does the resident have a special recreation program that he or she would like to attend, but won’t/can’t while you are visiting?
  • Does the resident have other regular visitors? Can these visits be spread out through the week/month? One visitor at a time may be more enjoyable for the resident than four 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 calendar or guest book in the room for all visitors to sign. Then, when the resident says that he or she never has any visitors, you can show them who has visited and when.

Riverview Health Centre has published The Handbook for Successful Visiting, which provides information and advice to help make visiting a rewarding experience.

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