Adjusting to new living arrangements or navigating changes in health can be overwhelming for everyone. Adjusting to new accommodations is usually easier to manage when family and friends know how to help a loved one feel more at home in their new environment. Here are some ideas to help you plan, and enjoy, your visits.

General tips

  • Read the Family Handbook for your Care Home (Beckley Farm Lodge, Rest Haven Lodge, or Veterans Memorial Lodge) as it provides you with useful information about the Care Home, Broadmead Care staff, services, and activities. Note: Beckley Farm Lodge and Rest Haven Lodge’s Family Handbooks will be uploaded shortly.
  • Share information with staff about your loved one’s preferences and history, especially through the Getting to Know Me form (provided upon move-in).
  • Complete your loved one’s Memory Box located at their door; think of it like an identity scrapbook! Note: Nigel House residents do not currently have this option.
  • Decorate the room with items that offer a touch of home, such as family photos, fresh flowers, and items that your loved one has made or collected. Change up the décor for themed holidays — this is an excellent activity to do together.
  • Bring questions to Care Conferences as staff appreciate your engagement.
  • Check in with care team members to learn more about adaptive clothing options.
  • Join the Family Council to offer your voice on behalf of family and friends.
  • Provide feedback through the website.

Self-directed activities supported by family and friends

  • Make a laminated card with your loved one’s favorite television channels and set up a user-friendly universal ‘big button’ remote.
  • Sign up for a newspaper subscription.
  • Ensure family photo albums are available to browse, or set up a digital photo frame.
  • Offer books and magazines. Access free resources through the Greater Victoria Public Library such as large print and picture-based books, audiobooks, and movies.
  • Create a personalized playlist on a device with over-ear headphones.
  • Purchase a realistic companion pet or therapeutic doll, which can help reduce anxiety and loneliness for people living with dementia or cognitive impairments.


  • Find a quiet place to talk, to reduce distractions.
  • Reminisce about their childhood and young adult years to draw on their long term memories. In most cases, it is better to accept their thoughts or where they are in the moment. Confronting their reality may be embarrassing or upsetting for them.
  • Bring items to show and tell: “Look what I found,” is a way to start a great conversation!
  • Ask questions about something you have always wanted to know about them and document some of these memories for your family history.
  • Bring a tablet or laptop to search the internet together.
  • Bring others to visit with you, including children or pets.
  • Chat with other residents together to get to know neighbours.
  • Attend a group activity put on by an Activity Worker. See the Activity board in your loved one’s Home for the monthly calendar of events.
  • Bring simple tasks to share, such as writing letters and stuffing envelopes, mending, or sorting. Consider anything they may have interest in helping with or have interest in, such as choosing a recipe out of a recipe book.
  • Do basic exercises and stretching together.
  • Offer care involving touch: comb their hair, give a hand massage, or paint their nails.
  • Eat together, such as a takeout meal or culturally significant snack.
  • Adapt family traditions to accommodate your loved one living in care.
  • Read books, newspapers, magazines, or poetry out loud.
  • Play games such as checkers, cards, word searches, puzzles, or catch.
  • Write Christmas letters or birthday cards.
  • Watch videos, a movie, or a televised sports game.
  • Go on outings via your personal vehicle, HandyDART, or an accessible taxi.
  • Maximize time outdoors, through a stroll through the courtyard, a walk around the neighbourhood, or simply sitting outside for fresh air and sunshine.

Alternatives to in-person visiting

  • Include others in your scheduling efforts so there is a steady flow of visitors and conversation. Make it a team effort!
  • If a busy schedule or distance prevents you from visiting, arrange someone local to visit with a device to host video calls.
  • Hire a private companion through a trusted agency to visit.
  • Arrange regular in-room visits with spiritual care practitioners. Veterans and their families maybe be eligible for the Veterans Affairs Canada Assistance Service Pastoral Outreach Program.
  • Send a message through the Broadmead Care website, which will be delivered as ‘mail’ by a member of staff.