How Often Should You Visit Elderly Parents and Relatives?

According to experts, the answer varies depending on a number of factors, including your parents' health, their living situation, and your own schedule and avai

Published On:
October 30, 2023

How Ofter Should I Visit?

As our parents age, it's natural to wonder how often we should be visiting them. After all, we want to make sure they're doing well and that we're there to support them in any way possible. But how often is often enough?

According to experts, the answer varies depending on a number of factors, including your parents' health, their living situation, and your own schedule and availability.

Factors to Consider


If your parents are in good health and able to take care of themselves, you may not need to visit as often. However, if they have health issues that require monitoring or assistance, you may need to visit more frequently.

Living Situation

If your parents live independently, you may need to visit more often to ensure they're able to take care of themselves and their home. If they live in an assisted living facility or nursing home, you may be able to visit less frequently, as they have staff on hand to help them.

Your Availability

Of course, your own schedule and availability will also play a role in how often you can visit your parents. If you live far away or have a busy job or family life, you may not be able to visit as often as you'd like.

The Benefits of Visiting Elderly Parents and Relatives

Visiting elderly parents and relatives can have numerous benefits, including:

  • Strengthening emotional bonds: Spending time with loved ones can help maintain and strengthen emotional connections, which can contribute to overall well-being.
  • Preventing future regrets: Visiting elderly parents and relatives can help prevent feelings of guilt or regret later in life when it's too late to spend time with them.
  • Checking on health and well-being: Observing changes in behavior or physical appearance can help detect underlying health issues early on, before they become serious problems.
  • Creating new memories: Engaging in activities together or reminiscing about old times can create new memories that will be cherished by both you and your loved ones.
  • Gaining valuable insights: Elderly parents and relatives have lived through decades of life and have valuable insights that can benefit you in various aspects of life. Listening to their stories and advice may provide valuable lessons that you may not get elsewhere.

Overall, taking the time to visit elderly parents and relatives can be a rewarding experience, both for them and for you. It provides an opportunity to connect emotionally, check on health, create memories, and gain insights that may be helpful in your own life.

Tips for Visiting a Loved One in a Care Home

When visiting a loved one in a care home, it's important to keep in mind that they may be dealing with physical or cognitive impairments that can make communication and interaction challenging. Here are some tips to help make your visit as enjoyable and comfortable as possible:

  • Plan ahead: Before your visit, call the care home to find out the best time to visit and if there are any restrictions or guidelines you should be aware of. Consider bringing along any items that may help facilitate communication, such as photos or mementos.
  • Be patient: If your loved one has cognitive impairments like dementia, they may struggle to recognize you or remember who you are. Don't take this personally and try not to get frustrated. Instead, focus on making them feel comfortable and at ease.
  • Engage in activities: Bringing along an activity like a puzzle or game can help break the ice and give you something to do together. You could also bring along a favorite snack or treat to share.
  • Listen actively: Your loved one may have a lot to say, so be sure to listen actively and ask questions to show your interest. Even if they repeat themselves or seem confused at times, it's important to validate their feelings and opinions.
  • Respect their privacy: While it's important to engage with your loved one during your visit, it's also important to respect their privacy and personal space. If they need some alone time or seem tired, don't be afraid to give them some space.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your visits with your loved one in a care home are positive experiences for both of you. Remember that every individual is unique, so don't be afraid to experiment with different approaches until you find what works best for you both.

What Not to do When Visiting a Care Home

When visiting a care home, it's important to remember that the residents are in a vulnerable state and may be dealing with various physical or cognitive impairments. To ensure that your visit is respectful and enjoyable for everyone involved, there are certain things you should avoid doing, such as:

  • Bringing in food or drinks without checking with staff first: Some residents may have specific dietary restrictions or allergies that need to be taken into account. Bringing in outside food or drink can also be against the care home's policies.
  • Taking photos or videos without permission: It's important to respect the privacy of the residents and their families. Taking photos or videos without permission can be intrusive and disrespectful.
  • Speaking loudly or using inappropriate language: Loud noises and inappropriate language can be disruptive and distressing for some residents. It's important to speak calmly and respectfully.
  • Touching or moving resident's belongings without permission: Residents' belongings are important to them and may hold sentimental value. Moving or touching their belongings without permission can be disrespectful and upsetting.
  • Ignoring staff instructions or guidelines: Care homes often have specific rules and guidelines in place for visitors. It's important to follow these instructions to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents.

By avoiding these actions, you can help create a positive environment for both the residents and staff at a care home. Remember that your visit should always prioritize the comfort and well-being of those around you.

Ways to Make Visits More Enjoyable for Elderly Parents and Relatives

Visiting elderly parents and relatives can be a great way to spend quality time with them, but it's important to make sure the visit is enjoyable for everyone involved. Here are some ideas for making visits more enjoyable:

Play Music

Music has been shown to have numerous benefits for seniors, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, and enhancing cognitive function. Consider playing some of your loved one's favorite songs or artists during your visit. You could also bring along a small instrument like a ukulele or harmonica and play together.

Bring a Pet

Pets are known to have therapeutic benefits for people of all ages, including reducing loneliness and depression. If your loved one is an animal lover, consider bringing along a well-behaved pet for them to interact with. Make sure to check with the care home or facility first to ensure that pets are allowed.

Engage in Arts and Crafts

Engaging in arts and crafts can be a fun way to spend time together while also stimulating creativity and fine motor skills. You could bring along some supplies like coloring books, markers, or knitting needles and work on a project together.

Take a Walk Outside

Getting outside can provide numerous health benefits, including boosting vitamin D levels and improving mood. If weather permits, take a walk outside with your loved one. Even just sitting outside in the sun can provide health benefits.

By incorporating these ideas into your visits with elderly parents or relatives, you can help make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. Remember that each individual is unique, so be sure to adapt these ideas based on your loved one's interests and abilities.

Tips for Dealing with Difficult Emotions During Visits with Elderly Parents and Relatives

Visiting elderly parents and relatives can bring up a range of emotions, including sadness, guilt, frustration, and even anger. Here are some tips for dealing with difficult emotions during visits:

Acknowledge Your Feelings

It's important to recognize and acknowledge your own feelings before visiting your elderly loved ones. Take some time to reflect on why you may be feeling a certain way and try to identify the root cause.

Practice Self-Care

Dealing with difficult emotions can be draining, so it's important to prioritize self-care before and after your visit. This might include taking a walk in nature, practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises, or engaging in activities that bring you joy.

Seek Support

Talking to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings can help provide perspective and support. Alternatively, seeking the help of a professional counselor or therapist can also be beneficial.

Practice Empathy

Remember that your loved one may also be experiencing difficult emotions related to their aging process. Try to put yourself in their shoes and practice empathy by listening actively and validating their feelings.

Set Boundaries

If visiting your loved one is causing significant stress or emotional turmoil, it may be necessary to set boundaries around how often you visit or how much time you spend together. Remember that it's okay to prioritize your own well-being.

By implementing these tips into your visits with elderly parents or relatives, you can help manage difficult emotions while still maintaining a strong connection with your loved ones.


The National Institute on Aging recommends that adult children visit their elderly parents "as often as possible," but they also acknowledge that the frequency of visits will depend on individual circumstances.

According to, most adult children visit their elderly parents about once a week. However, it's important to note that this can vary widely depending on the factors listed above. For example, if your parents live in a nursing home or assisted living facility, they may have more opportunities for socialization and interaction with staff and other residents.

Ultimately, what's most important is to maintain open communication with your parents and make sure they know you're there for them, even if you can't visit as often as you'd like. Regular phone calls, video chats, or even sending letters or care packages can help bridge the distance and keep your relationship strong. Additionally, consider involving other family members or friends in visits or check-ins to share the responsibility and provide additional support for your elderly parents.


In conclusion, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how often you should visit elderly parents. It depends on a variety of factors, including your parents' health, their living situation, and your own availability.

However, experts generally recommend visiting as often as possible, and most adult children visit their parents about once a week. The key is to maintain open communication and make sure your parents know you're there for them, no matter how often you're able to visit.


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