Tips for Hosting Relatives When Caring for Seniors



As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Visiting relatives may be much extra work for seniors and their caregivers.

Relatives may not understand your loved one’s mobility difficulties or enduring hours of travel and interaction. They may not understand that it takes planning and packing to load Granny and her wheelchair into the car packed for any medical or safety emergency.

They probably have never experienced the problems caused by Granny’s wheelchair and can’t go up their relatives’ front steps or through their front door.

They might not realize that for an older person with dementia, leaving a place they know well can be very upsetting.

Perhaps visitors do not realize that the loved one needs to stay on a medication schedule and rest during the day. They don’t have the experience and concerns you have as a caregiver for a senior, particularly one with health problems.

So, when they invite you to spend the day at their house, they don’t think about the problems that could come up.

However, you probably know the limitations of your loved one. You probably know how they would react to a long drive, noise and unfamiliar places, long hours without much rest, and any interruption to the routine.

You’re likely torn between wanting to see relatives and not wanting to cause exhausting disruptions and inconveniences. You hate to turn them down, but what’s the solution?

A Possible Solution – Host Smaller Groups

Instead of turning relatives away or reluctantly agreeing to exhausting, lengthy visits, consider hosting smaller groups. Gently explain that you want to make them comfortable, but you need to safeguard the senior’s health and space.

Ask if they can visit in groups of 2-3 people at a time, even on different days, for a reasonable duration. Family members who live farther away can stay overnight at a hotel.

Brief, small visits allow quality interaction without overtaxing their elderly hosts.Set expectations beforehand regarding the senior’s mobility limitations, health constraints, and comfort levels.

Let them know you will safeguard boundaries so the visit remains pleasant.

Move the Location Out of Your Home

For large family functions, consider moving the location outside your residence entirely. Scout venues like:

  • Community recreation centers
  • VFW halls
  • Public parks with indoor options
  • Banquet rooms in restaurants

Look for spots with senior-friendly access such as ramps, elevators, handicapped parking.

It’s easier for a small group to transport an elderly person for a short visit than have lots of people descend into their home.

In a public venue, multiple relatives can comfortably gather without you having to cook or clean. They can catch up and interact while you tend to any medical or mobility needs that arise.

It’s the People, not the place.

There are a lot of opportunities to make happy memories while visiting relatives. Ask your visitors to do their part to make the experience comfortable and enjoyable for you, the seniors, and all who attend.

The place is unimportant; the people are the reason for the visit. Think ahead and consider how to best conserve your health and physical energy during a visit.

Have a pleasant visit together!