How to be There for a Loved One in a Nursing Home
Aging is a part of life, and it may result in our loved ones needing long-term care in a nursing home. Whether it’s caring for a specific cognitive illness, like Alzheimer’s disease, or any number of physical ailments that leave our family members unable to care for themselves, going into nursing home care requires us to examine many issues. The costs of this care can be enormous and, at times, be an overwhelming burden on families. However, there are ways to be there for your loved one, especially during the current coronavirus pandemic, and make sure their lives are as meaningful as possible.
One of the biggest ways to be there for a loved one in a nursing home is to be involved in their care and informed about what is happening. This may be through speaking with your loved one and communicating their needs to the nursing home staff and being there to fully explain what is happening to your loved one. Some of these things could be different than what you think should happen, but it is important to remember that your loved one’s well-being and concerns come first. It may be important to encourage your loved one to express their wishes about their care.
Having an open line of communication with the nursing home’s staff is important, right from the start of your loved one’s stay. Take some time to introduce your loved one to the staff and express any concerns or needs your loved one has. It is also worth explaining to the staff your loved one’s unique life story. This gives the staff a chance to know your loved one better, know where they came from, and how they ended up in nursing home care.
Within the first week of being in a nursing home, the staff there will develop a care plan for them. This is also a great opportunity to be involved and make sure your loved one’s needs and goals are considered. Being there for a loved one can involve having a say in their care plan, knowing the staff and their roles, and monitoring their care with regular visits.
To that end, visits are vital for a loved one’s health and well-being. Not only do they bolster a loved one’s emotional health, they also ensure you’re connected with the type of care they’re receiving. When visiting, it is important to look for progress toward any goals that were set during the initial planning phase. This can help to keep everyone on task.
When visiting a loved one, try to make sure it is corresponding with a time they would like a visit. For instance, maybe a visit after dinner is better for them than a visit before dinner. Visiting at various times of the day, that work for your loved one, can help ensure your loved one is receiving quality care throughout the day. Keeping a guestbook in your loved one’s room can help visitors communicate with each other.
If you have concerns, be sure to document them and report any concerns to management. Being assertive, confident, and calm can go a long way toward getting your message across. It may also be helpful to explain what outcomes you would like to see.
Speak with an Elder Law Attorney
Entering a nursing home can have a stressful impact on your loved one, their family, and their finances. An experienced elder law attorney can ease the burden on everyone involved and ensure a smooth transition. The attorneys at The Mattar Firm are here for you and your family. Contact us by calling 239-222-2222 or 844-444-4444. If you are unable to make it into any of our offices, we also offer video conferences, via Zoom.