WHAT ABOUT HELP WITH A LOVED ONE IN A NURSING HOME
Most people know that when they send a loved one to a nursing home or assisted living environment, it can be quite stressful for many reasons for the senior loved one and the family as a whole.
There are no doubt concerns as to the care of our loved ones. It is no secret that facilities or communities have questionable practices or lack thereof. Let me preface it by saying that not all facilities or communities are bad or incompetent. I think we can agree that they are not all out for profit only and that some do have the resident’s wellbeing first and foremost as their priority.
WHAT ARE MOST LOVED ONES CONCERNS?
- Will my loved one be safe?
- Will my loved one be respected?
- What if the call light is ignored?
- What if the facility is short on staff, what can I expect for prompt care?
- What about companion care? I know they have facility activities, but what if my loved one doesn’t want to participate?
Safety should be the first thing that a facility offers to all residents. If you are contemplating moving your loved one to a community, always ask them for their safety protocol and procedures. Escape routes, staff to patient ratio, fire extinguishers and their locations, locked doors, lockdown procedures and anything relating to the safety of all residents and staff.
It is not an unrealistic request to ensure that your senior loved one is respected. Every staff member should always protect the dignity of each resident. Respect for their limitations should always be considered and their behavior should also be considered. Understanding should be part of the respect process of caregiving.
Each resident deserves respect and privacy but let’s face it, disrespect can happen and that can lead to the behaviors that are not welcomed by staff. This is where patience comes in.
THE NEVER-ENDING CALL LIGHT
I believe that most people are aware of the never-ending call light ringing through the hallways is a problem. It is in my opinion, one of my biggest pet peeves. There are several reasons that this is a problem. Is it because of lack of staff? Is it because the staff is overworked? Is it because not everyone employed there is meant to do that line of work?
This sounds harsh but it is factual. I have seen unnecessary falls, unnecessary incontinent problems, residents in need of companionship and just a little company and so much more.
While I believe that not ALL communities have this problem, I do know that some do. This should be a concern for you if you are thinking of placing a loved one in a community/facility.
STAFF TO PATIENT RATIO
This is also a concern for anyone looking at a facility. Each state requirement is different, and each level of care is different. But this SHOULD be one of the things that you ask prior to moving your loved one. If a facility is short staffed and they are overworked, things can get overlooked. It is easy for accidents and safety issues and call light issues to happen if the staff is overworked.
MY LOVED ONE MAY FEEL LONELY
It is a real concern for family members when thinking of a facility. Most all facilities offer events, activities and crafts for all residents. They all have a monthly calendar (or should) showing what they have planned for fun and engagement.
In my experience I have seen residents decline activities and engagement for several reasons. They feel comfortable in their rooms but still long for human interaction but decline branching out.
It is healthy and good to be sure that our loved ones don’t feel lonely, sad, secluded, or withdrawn. We do not always understand why seniors feel this way, but we know that they do.
WHAT WE CAN DO
At Sunshine Home and Companion Care, we care. We understand and we want to help. Our goal is to help the senior stay at home long as possible. But sometimes a facility or community is needed.
If you have concerns about these topics and you are worried and stressed, we can help. We can and do go to facilities to sit with and do activities with your loved ones. We can be that friendly face that your loved one looks forward to seeing daily, weekly, biweekly or whatever you need.
We can be a presence that is there to ensure that the call lights are answered, falls will not be a concern, respect is given, and loneliness not a concern for your loved one.
Give us a call, we would love to talk to you about your concerns. We are here to partner with you, your loved one and the facility. We at Sunshine Home and Companion care believe it is totally a group effort.
Let us help you minimize your worries. Give us a call at 863-944-3349