Is A Nursing Home the Best Option for Your Loved One? - Retirement Net by Maggie Drag

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Is A Nursing Home the Best Option for Your Loved One?

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How to Make Living Worthwhile while in a Nursing Home



Nursing homes were created to provide your loved one with the best of both worlds- a place that’s both safe haven and a place that is meant to feel like home.
In some cases, nursing homes may be the best scenario for your loved one because of medical or other personal reasons. Other times it could seem like an attractive option because of the expectation of constant care and attention.
Despite this, a nursing home will never compare to the home where your loved ones built memories, cooked for their families, and celebrated birthdays and holidays.
Here are some facts to bring you awareness about nursing homes, and if you do end up choosing a nursing home, here are some tips to help your loved one make it feel more like home.

Right to privacy
No matter how much care or assistance your loved one may need, there is no excuse for taking away their right to privacy and individuality. Many patients are placed with “roommates” that can keep each other company. Despite the benefit of being around other patients, not everyone will be willing, perhaps even able to communicate with your loved one. They may start to feel alienated, even distraught when the one friend they make doesn’t feel up to talking to them or eating lunch together.
 
What you can do to help…

·       If you do choose a nursing home, be sure to see if your loved one will be living with roommates and that their living arrangements allow them the amount of privacy that they deserve.
·       Help make their living space as homely as possible by bringing over their family photos and albums
·       Decorate their room with their favorite art, photographs to give the room some character
·       Next time you visit, bring along their favorite blanket and pillow that will remind them of home
·       Update their wardrobe with cozy sweaters and scarfs during the colder months

Cleanliness, Personal Hygiene and Safety
Living in a safe, clean environment is so important to our health and well-being. Most nursing homes are subject to health inspections every 15 months. Will the maintenance team be on top of their game each and every day? If patients aren’t cared for properly, they will not only develop illnesses, but spread it to their roommates and other patients, so before choosing the right nursing home for your loved one, be sure to check out each facility to assess its living conditions.
 
What you can do to help…

·       Take note of any furniture or slippery floors in the facility pose a hazard to your loved one.
·       Always be sure to visit your loved one frequently to make sure that they are being bathed, keeping up with their skincare routine, and paying attention to their dental hygiene.
·       Surprise Mom with a spa treatment and offer to do her nails
·       Bring along scented soaps or lotions to help your loved one feel pampered and relaxed
·       Always remember that a little extra attention always goes a long way, especially when they are away from home!
 

Keep them social!
Before making the decision to rely on a nursing home for caring for your loved one each day, consider the schedule of daily activities that the facility offers its patients. Will they be able to socialize with other patients, exercise together and spend time outdoors? Will they be able to participate in stimulating activities like game night and maybe form a book club with their friends? Regardless of the amount of care your loved one may need, sitting in silence, and looking off into the distance should never be part of their daily routine.
 
What you can do to help…

·       Be sure to check in as often as possible to ensure your loved one doesn’t feel neglected and has a variety of activities to choose from each day.
·       Make sure the nurse has a place where you can go outside for a walk and get some fresh air
·       Some nursing homes allow pets so feel free to bring your dog along the next time you visit!
·       Bring them a homemade meal that they loved making at home with your family.


The Importance of Personal Care

A nursing home may have up to 300 patients, but a very limited amount of permanent staff members and nurses that will take care of your loved one day in and day out. Statistically, a caregiver in nursing homes can only give each patient an hour and a half of one-on-one care. Your loved one will need to adjust to working with a new nurse each day, which will prevent them from developing a special bond with their nurses.
 
What you can do to help…

·       Visit your loved one as often as you can and bring along their grandchildren
·       Take the time to get to know the nurses that are assigned to your loved one
·       Usually, the more often you visit, the more care your loved one will receive
·       Consider hiring a caregiver that will visit your loved one frequently and give them the care they deserve
 

Above all, don’t be afraid to ask questions!
When it comes to finding the right solution for caring for your loved one, remember that your decision should always be a reflection of their needs and desires. Before you consider a nursing home - consider each nursing home you have in mind carefully. Visit each center with your loved one and don’t forget to ask them as many questions as possible!

Author's Bio

Maggie Drag is an owner and founder of a homecare agency located in central Connecticut. With over 27 years of experience in the industry, Maggie shares her knowledge and tips about care at home.  Visit homecare4u.com to learn more about Maggie Drag. 


 

 
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