It’s not the easiest of times when you know your loved one has to be admitted to a nursing home because you don’t have the time or energy to provide them with the care they need. So you look around for the best nursing home that will suit their needs and admit them. You may have relegated their daily care to someone else, but there is still a lot you can do for your loved one even though you visit them only once in a while. To start with, you could:
• Choose a nursing home that is close to you: You must make it a point to visit your loved one at least once a fortnight or more. And the easiest way to keep to this rule is to choose a nursing home that is close to where you live. If you’re able to drive down and back in half a day or less, you’re more likely to keep your visits and not find excuses to get out of them. Visits from loved ones mean a lot to patients in nursing homes, especially the ones who are still of sound mental health.
• Talk to the staff there to see how they are doing: Ensure that you talk to the staff at the facility to see how your loved one is doing there. If you get the vibe that all is not well, make enquiries and see if it is a problem that you can resolve. If not, consider shifting your loved one to another nursing home. It’s important that they are comfortable and happy with their living conditions. Ask your loved one for their opinion too, and don’t dismiss their grumblings and complaints as the rambling of old people.
• Look around their room and see if it is clean: The nursing home staff usually does a good job of cleaning your loved one’s room, but there is more to cleanliness than meets the eye. Help your loved one keep their personal belongings clean each time you visit – wash their combs, wipe down objects they use often, like their remote control, pager, mobile phone or any other technological gadget, and so on. It makes a huge difference to live in hygiene and have someone help you with it.
• Help them personalize their rooms: Your loved one will think of home and family often, so help them preserve their memories with photographs and other personal memorabilia. You could also decorate their room with their favorite accessories so that they feel at home even though they are in a nursing home.
Nursing homes must be homes away from homes if your loved one is to feel comfortable there. So do what you can to ensure that this is possible.