Once you choose a nursing home for your parent or other elderly loved one, your job is not done. Even if you picked an excellent home, mistakes can happen and issues can go unnoticed. It is important to continue communicating with your loved one and the nursing home staff while your loved one lives there. Here, I will explore some important things to discuss with your loved one, as well as important things to discuss with the nursing home staff.
Communicating with Nursing Home Staff
You should check in with the nursing home staff to make sure that your loved one is happy in the home and that they are getting the treatment that they need. Staff members do have a lot of residents to look after, but they should always be willing to talk with you about your loved one. If they seem too stressed to do so, this is a bad sign. It could mean that they have too much on their plate. Certain residents might suffer as a result – even if it is not intentional.
Talk to the nursing staff when you visit your loved one, or call them with any questions. One thing that you should discuss with staff is your loved one’s care plan. Each nursing home resident should have an individualized care plan to meet their health needs. Make sure that the care plan is being followed properly. If adjustments need to be made, make sure that the staff goes over these changes with you.
Communicating with Your Loved One
Hopefully, the nursing home that you choose will be close enough to where you live that you can frequently visit your loved one. It is a good idea to physically check in on your loved one from time to time, as well as talk on the phone. When you visit, you can watch out for signs of abuse that I discussed in a previous post.
Also consider your loved one’s attitude. Do they seem drastically different from how they used to be? Dramatic changes in mood could point to issues in the home. It is a good idea to ask your loved one how they like living in the home and if they are being treated well. Make sure that your loved one knows that they can be honest with you if something is wrong. These are a few good steps to take to make sure that your loved one is happy and healthy in the home.
Of course, it is possible that the staff or your loved one will try to hide abuse. Some victims of abuse are threatened or afraid to tell someone that they are being harmed. So, try to pick up on non-verbal signals. If you suspect neglect or abuse, you can contact my office. We can discuss your suspicions and determine if we should take further steps to protect your loved one. Contact me at 203-208-3065 to discuss your family’s situation today.