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Nursing Home Family Visits With Children: How to Make Them Successful

Senior care communities can be full of life, fun, and happiness. But, bringing children to visit grandparents at a nursing home or retirement community can be uncomfortable for some, especially when it’s a first-time visit. However, there are a few simple ways to prepare nursing home family visits with children, allowing them to enjoy the time spent with loved ones.

Communicate Beforehand

Discussing an upcoming visit with your family will help uncover any fears or worries they might have. Talking through scenarios and anxieties will encourage your children to think about their visit, while creating an opportunity for them to ask questions. Consider beginning the conversation while you cook dinner or as your child helps you with daily tasks. Making the conversation light-hearted will help ease your child’s fears as they prepare for their visit with grandparents.

Choose the Right Time

Some older adults prefer to do activities as certain times during the day or evening. Call you loved one beforehand to see what time is best for them. If you know your parents or loved one is in high spirits in the morning rather than the afternoon, try planning your visit earlier in the day. Consider planning your visit at lunchtime and treat your senior to a meal out.

Make It Fun

Visits don’t have to be all talk. Try making the visit something to look forward to by bringing puzzles, games, or even going out for a treat. Decorating your loved one’s apartment or room with lights or pictures will keep your children busy while enjoying time with their grandparents. Listening to music or looking through old photo albums are fun ways to spend time together as a family.


Spend time after the visit discussing the day. Consider asking your children questions about what they enjoyed and what they might do differently at the next visit. Choosing a scene from the day to draw, or making a craft to bring on the next visit are helpful ways to keep your children excited and mitigate fears. Ask your children to help you plan the next visit with their grandparents and see what fun ideas they come up with!

Our Carespring skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky aim to bring patients and their families together through high-quality care. Spending time with family helps older adults feel happier and stay healthy longer. What fun ideas do you have for your next visit?