The Importance of Family Time

When it is all said and done, most can agree that there is nothing more important in life than family. Unfortunately, our western culture seems to have de-prioritized family time over the past few decades, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the context of the elderly. With families living in far-flung destinations and most couples working 40–60 hours per week (per person), there just doesn’t seem to be time for our aging parents and relatives anymore. But as we will all learn eventually, the love of family, partners, and close friends is the only thing that lasts throughout life. Ultimately, life takes everything from us, and the love we have given to and received from others is all that remains.
For aging patients in care homes, visits from family members are often the highlight of the week. Children and grandchildren can bring immense happiness, especially to those who are dependent on others for their care and have had to leave behind their homes and friends to reside in a care facility. When families visit, patients feel loved and appreciated, and are able to enjoy socializing with their descendants, which provides a feeling of having accomplished something lasting and the satisfaction of knowing that one has contributed something to the world.
This family time can also be very valuable for those who will survive elderly persons living in care facilities. Although it is easy to become too busy to include aging parents and grandparents in your life, a time will come when they are no longer with you, and the last thing one wants is to look back at one’s relationship with his parents or grandparents with regret. By spending time with family members interned in care facilities, we not only add to their happiness and health, but also have the opportunity to make memories that will survive long after these family members are gone.

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