Visiting Long-Term Care Residents During the Holidays

The holidays are an exciting time of year. Holiday music is being played, shopping for those last minute gifts, and a joyful buzz in the air. But what about your loved ones living in long-term care facilities?  Am I able to bring my loved one home?  What tips can I use to make sure a visit is enjoyable?

The short answer: yes. Families are allowed to take their loved ones out of long-term care facilities for short periods of time. There are some restrictions to consider based on how their long-term care services are paid for.  If your loved one’s facility stay is covered by an insurance policy, it is important to note what they will and will not pay for. 

For residents who are unable to leave the facility, there are a number of ways to make the most of your time when visiting your loved ones. You can speak with facility staff to figure out best dates and times to visit, choose appropriate gifts based on activities they enjoy or any dietary restrictions they may have.  

It’s also important to pay attention to your surroundings when visiting.  Make sure to check the appearance of your loved ones and other residents to make sure they are properly dressed and interacting with other residents. Observe the environment. Is it clean? Are the staff alert, responsive and respectful to the residents? Are there regularly scheduled activities that take place? Do you notice any safety concerns? If there are any concerns, bring them to the attention of the administrator of the facility.

If you’re looking to get involved, contact the facility or other local organizations to find out how you can help bring in holiday cheer during the holidays and afterwards. Many residents are without nearby friends and family, and any form of comfort is always welcome and appreciated.