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Tips for visiting a care home

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

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 it's 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 Looking Photos


  • 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.
Retirement Village Resident


  • 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.
Bupa Memorabilia Photo

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.