Making Friends in a Nursing Home

By The Care Centers.

One of the biggest problems that seniors develop when they enter a nursing home is a sense of isolation. Not only have they moved from their own home, but they have lost connections with the community, friends, family, and associates. This isolation can be extremely difficult for the mental state of anyone, especially aging seniors. If you have a loved one who will be entering an assisted living facility, then you will have to provide them with the mental and emotional support that they need to remain happy and comfortable even after the move. This means continuing to visit them regularly and encouraging them to make friends. 

Getting Social at the Home

The first step is for the aging individual to actually become active and social at the nursing home itself. At first, they may be resistant to this simply because they are angry or upset that they have had to move and give up a sense of control. However, with time and encouragement, they could move toward rebuilding their social life. To make this easier, choose an assisted living facility that actually has a social calendar with a variety of different activities and events, including social gatherings, hobby sessions, exercise groups, and more. The more options that are available, the better. 

Look to Volunteer Groups

There are organizations that specialize in having volunteers who go to nursing homes and spend time with seniors. These volunteers usually come by on a regular basis and simply spend social time with the seniors. They could: 

  • Play board or card games with the elderly individual
  • Help the senior write letters to loved ones
  • Just spend time talking
  • Read books or newspapers to seniors who can no longer see

Essentially, the volunteers can become friends with elderly individuals, and this may be the ideal option for seniors who cannot easily leave their room because of mobility issues. There are numerous different volunteer organizations that offer these types of services, and you may wish to find out more about them for your senior loved one. 

Go on Outings

Many nursing homes offer shopping trips and other outings for seniors who live in the facilities. This can be a great time to socialize and meet new people. Again, encourage your loved one to take part in these outings and before you move them to a nursing home, make sure the facility you pick actually offers them in the first place. 

Making friends in a nursing home is an absolute must in order to ensure your loved one is happy and comfortable. There are also other things you can do in order to ensure a better experience, so be sure to read this article (Four Steps to Happier Living in a Nursing Home). Additionally, read this article on how you can make the whole transition to a nursing home easier in the first place (Five Ways to Make an Assisted Living Move Successful). As the family of an elderly loved one, your job is to be as supportive as possible. You need to ensure you do what you can to encourage the loved one to make more friends for a better stay. 

Tags: Nursing Homes