The Importance of Family Time for the Young and Old

The Importance of Family Time for the Young and Old

Spending time with family and friends is one of those things that can bring you great joy…when you have the time for it! For a caregiver with a long list of priorities, finding the time for social visits often gets bumped to the bottom of the list.

Making the effort to see family and friends is an important component of self-care for both you and the person in your care.

You’ll want to reconsider where you place family time on your list of priorities once you learn how spending time with family and friends benefits people of all ages. For caregivers in particular it’s a great way to reduce feelings of isolation and stress.

Making the effort to see family and friends is an important component of self-care for both you and the person in your care.

Why Family Time is Important

  • Build strong bonds
  • Show that you care
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Instill family values
  • Nurture positive behaviour in young children
  • Stay connected
  • Create memories
  • Reinforce a healthy lifestyle
  • Relieve stress

Family-Friendly Activities

There are so many different ways to socialize with family and friends. Try to pick something that everyone will enjoy and find accessible. Being open to trying new things is a great way to bond and create shared memories.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Dinner at home or out at a restaurant
  • Catching up over a coffee or tea
  • More competitive families may like to participate in sports or outdoor activities together
  • For those indoorsy-types try game nights or playing cards
  • Walking outdoors
  • Reading
  • Watching a movie together

We have more suggestions for intergenerational activities on our blog.

If you have family or friends who don’t live close enough to visit in person, taking a moment to call or catch up online is a great way to stay connected. An easy way to do this is to share news and photos with those living further away from you.

Social Events for the Person in Your Care

Although spending quality time with family and friends is important for people of all ages, as a caregiver you know the person in your care best. Try to incorporate social events that both you and the person in your care feel comfortable with.

It may be challenging for the person in your care to travel to other homes or outside venues. If this is a challenge you face, look into options for respite care. Having a trusted individual spend time with the person in your care enables you to take a much-needed break.

To ensure the person in your care is comfortable, here are some things you will want to consider before planning social events:

Time of day: Does the person in your care need an afternoon rest? Or, do they experience sundowning, and an earlier social event would work better?

Number of people: Consider the number of people in attendance: Is this going to be a rowdy crowd, or is it a quiet chance to catch up with a few close relatives. You may also think about if the person in your care is familiar and comfortable with the people in attendance — will unfamiliar guests cause additional stress?

Meals and drinks served: Are there food allergies or dietary restrictions to be concerned about? Could you bring a safe option? Will alcohol be served? If so, can the person in your care safely have an alcoholic beverage?

Location: Getting around can be challenging for some people. Think about the logistics of travelling outside the home, and what you will be required to bring. Sometimes using Google Street View can be a good way to check out how accessible the outside of a venue is before you head out.

Safety: You’ve probably spent time ensuring that the person you care for lives in a safe, comfortable home. Other locations may not have the same supports or safety precautions in place. This is especially important if there is a risk of falling.

Spending time with family and friends should be something to look forward to, bring you joy, and leave you feeling refreshed. If you’re having trouble managing to find the time to connect with others, take a look at our home care services to see if something is right for you.

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