Visiting a relative or friend in an aged care home can be daunting at first, but we hope you’ll soon feel welcome as part of our SummitCare community. Visiting and being involved in the day-to-day activities of our homes can be a very positive experience for you, as well as a loved one you're visiting. This information gives you some ideas to make your visiting time more rewarding.
Events and festive days
All SummitCare centres celebrate key dates. Volunteers are always welcome, as are families, so come along and join in events like:
- Chinese New Year (Feb/March)
- St Patrick’s Day (March)
- Christian Easter (March/April)
- ANZAC Day (April)
- Mother’s Day (May)
- Queen’s Birthday (June)
- Father’s Day (September)
- Melbourne Cup Day (November)
- Christian Christmas (December)
- PLUS: Resident birthdays
- Fundraising / awareness events
(Look out for notifications about these activities in your
local SummitCare centre.)
There’s no need to say goodbye to family celebrations – with forward planning, our communal areas can be used for anything from a lunch, picnic, morning or afternoon tea, to celebrating a birthday. Our staff will help by making sure your loved one is appropriately dressed and in the right place for your function. If you visit regularly, staff will happily help if you’d like to sit outside or enjoy the home’s outdoor areas. To organise a function, talk to reception during office hours.
Tea & coffee facilities
All homes have tea and coffee making facilities.
Involvement in care activities
Please bear in mind that centre life can be busy! Allow time for peak periods of activity, such as early mornings when staff are helping residents get up, have breakfast and prepare for the day. If you want to be actively involved in your loved ones care – and consents are in place – we encourage this.
Some ideas: helping with personal hygiene, meals and drinks, oral care, hand or foot massage, taking a walk or going on an outing.
Although we provide televisions in communal space and access to papers and magazines, keeping up to date with current affairs can be difficult, especially if your loved one has memory loss. Bringing in a newspaper or magazine and using the pictures or articles as talking points can really help your loved one feel connected to the wider community and more aware of current events.
We all enjoy discussing the good old days. Even someone with advanced dementia will often relate to old pictures. Try bringing in photo albums, trinkets or old magazines to use as conversation starters. You might be surprised by what comes up.
Listening to music is a great way to connect family and friends with old memories. It's also a great way to involve grandchildren! Bringing in an MP3 player or small audio system to play music can help encourage conversation and connection. Music can also be relaxing.
If you are unable to make it in to see your loved one speak to Reception about setting up a video call ensuring you don't lose contact.
Arts and craft
Our Leisure and Lifestyle teams have a supply of arts and craft items such as large knitting needles and crochet hooks, and staff will happily encourage you to get involved with activities like painting, drawing or knitting. If the person you visit has a particular arts or craft interest, why not put together an activity box to enjoy as part of your visiting time? You can also speak to the Leisure and Lifestyle team about all other activities including Men's Shed.
Bingo, cards, chess and checkers are another great way to enjoy your time together. Even if your loved one can no longer participate, actively observing such activities can still be fun. For children, showing grandma or grandad the latest computer game encourages generations to connect – remember to think outside the square.
Children's Activity Pack
These beautifully illustrated colouring sets are jam-packed with puzzles, activities, word scrambles, coloured markers, crayons and stickers. There are 4 packs available; Party, Magician, Circus & Theme Park. A perfect set for kids aged 3-10, all designed to keep the little ones entertained during their visit to SummitCare.
Looking after you
Finally, we’d like to gently remind those who visit every day that you also need to look after yourself and your wellbeing. Visiting a loved one can be very tiring, so schedule some ‘visit free’ days to rest. You can call the centre to find out about how your loved one is, and if they are able to talk, you can speak to them on the phone to reassure them about your next visit.