A few tips when visiting someone in a care home

Category: Caring

At Bupa we understand that visiting someone in a care home can be new and different for some. We’ve put together a few ideas that may help.

Elderly lady and man with flowers | Care Homes | Bupa

We find the best start is to approach your relative or friend with a SMILE.

• Introduce yourself if necessary.

• Talk about ideas, menus or activities that are going on – the surroundings, gardens and people.

• Look at photos and photo albums with scenes and people from the past.

• Read interesting small items from newspapers or magazines.

• Sometimes its nice to just sit and have some quiet 
time together.

• Walk in the gardens or sit and enjoy the sunshine.

• Hold their hand or give them a hug. Saying “I would like a hug” gives your relative/friend the choice to hug you.

• Take another person with you. You can talk together and your relative/friend can listen and join in as they wish.

• Get to know the staff and other residents.

• Please take care when entering or leaving a safe dementia unit. These doors are secure to keep the residents who live there safe.



Roy hands on photos | Bupa


• You may not be recognised.

• Your last visit may not be remembered.

• You may not get a response to your conversation.

• The person may not be in the mood to socialise.



Resident alone at desk | Bupa


• Your visit may be forgotten after you have gone but happy feelings will remain with your relative/friend.

• The length of your stay is not important – short visits are fine.

• Your relative/friend loves to see you.

• Life is better when everyone smiles.


Photo and flowers on table

Nice treats you can bring:

• Small but delicious food such as, chocolates, grapes, fruit (check any dietary needs with staff).

• Flowers.

• Magazines, books and pieces of interest.

• Any favourite pieces from home – an ornament, photographs or picture.

• A pet.

Back to top