Why it's Important to Visit Loved Ones in a Nursing Facility

Why It's Important to Visit Loved Ones in a Nursing Facility

In June 2015, a filmmaker named Evan Briggs began a crowd-funding campaign for her documentary, Present Perfect, a film that “explores the experience of growing up and growing old in America.” Briggs spent a full school year filming at a preschool housed inside a retirement home. The footage of the interactions between the children and the elderly is both touching and powerful. 

At Bella Vista Health Center, we deeply appreciate the filmmaker for the work she’s doing to emphasize the importance of our relationship with the elderly. Clearly, many other people feel the same way: The film’s trailer inspired nearly 2000 people to donate over $100,000 to help Briggs see the project through to the end.

You can see the trailer here: http://www.presentperfectfilm.com/

As a nursing care facility, we get to see the impact that family visits have on residents every single day.  Those whose families visit them regularly are in much better spirits and tend to seek more social interaction with other residents than those who don’t have visitors. But what’s equally true, and what Briggs’ film also shows, is that the relationship is mutually beneficial.  

In other words, your loved one will get a lot out of your visits, and you’ll get a lot out of it, too. 

How your visits helps your loved one

  • It brightens his day. Your affection and the time you spend visiting reminds your loved one how much you cherish him. Everyone wants to feel cherished. 
  • It keeps her socially connected. If you plan your visit around social activities happening in the facility, it can help your loved one get to know other residents.  And your presence at the Bingo game can also spread love to those who don’t get visitors. 
  • It gives him something to look forward to. Regularly scheduled visits from family marked on a calendar can serve as a bright spot in your loved one’s week. Just knowing you’re coming in two days can fill him with the joy of anticipation. 
  • It creates positive memories she can hold dearly. The impact of your visit has a ripple affect.  We hear residents talking about last Thursday’s visit from the grandkids on the following Tuesday and beyond. 

How your visits help you

  • You can stay abreast on her health. The more often you visit, the more you’ll notice subtle changes in attitude, eating habits, and her overall health.  This information can help you advocate for her. 
  • You get the comfort of knowing he is cared for. When you visit your loved one regularly, you get to know the facility’s staff. They get to know you, too. That relationship with the people who care for your loved one can help you sleep well at night. 
  • You might hear some great stories. You may think you know how wild Aunt Elizabeth was in her youth. Wait ‘til you hear the story about that time she…
  • It helps your children to become more worldly and compassionate. Although children may seem nervous their first time at a nursing facility, they’ll warm up when they see how comfortable you are. Regular visits to nursing care facilities (not just one-offs) teach children to interact with people who are different from them. Children also love to help, and a nursing facility is a great place for them to have opportunities to do so. It also introduces your children to the rewarding aspect of cheering someone else up. 

We’re lucky. 

At Bella Vista Health Center in Lemon Grove, we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to spend so much time with our elderly residents. So many of them are thoughtful, funny, intelligent, wonderfully ornery, joyful, and inspiring. It is our pleasure to serve them. 

Are you looking for a residential care facility for a loved one? The caring and compassionate environment at Bella Vista makes it the kind of place you’ll love to visit on a regular basis. Come and see us. We look forward to meeting you and your loved one.