How do I tell families about the importance of visits?

I am a nurse who finds it sad when families don’t visit their loved ones. Is there anything I can do to let them know how important their visits are?

Many families have a difficult time visiting a family member in a nursing home. It may make them feel guilty that their loved one is there and not at home with them, even if they are unable to provide the level of care required. Encouraging family members by asking questions about their loved one right from the beginning, when the person is first admitted, will help the family to see how important it is to think of that person as an individual. And as family, they are the ones who bring out that individuality in each person. Maybe you can start a practice of calling or writing to the family on a weekly basis to let them know what is going on with their loved one. This may encourage them to visit.

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