4 Ways to Keep Your Loved One Happy in a Nursing Home or Assisted Living
There is a good chance one or more of our older family members will need long-term health care at some point in their lifetime. In some cases, an assisted living facility or a nursing home will be the best care option.
Assisted living can be highly beneficial for the elderly with disabilities or illnesses. They can get consistent, high-quality care and meet all their medical and attention requirements on time. However, not every senior enjoys living in a nursing home, and adjusting to life there can be challenging. You can do many things to make their shift to the care facility easier, such as visiting regularly. Here are five ways to keep your loved one happy in a nursing home.
1. Make the Transition Easy
Moving to the nursing home can be very stressful, so ensuring a smooth transition to the care facility can help immensely. Some elderly individuals may feel they are still fully capable of caring for themselves and might not want to leave their homes. Those who have Dementia or Alzheimers might not even understand why the move was necessary.
So, it's crucial that you clearly explain why moving to a nursing home can be beneficial for them. Communicate with them openly and listen to their opinions and concerns. Consulting them will prevent them from feeling helpless and out of control of their decisions.
Before deciding on moving a loved one to an assisted living facility or nursing home, research a facility well-suited to your elderly family member and consult with them about the final choice.
A sudden shift in the environment can also make the transition very hard – they need to feel at home there. Make sure your loved ones take objects with them, like family photos, furniture, a loved blanket, or other mementos to help make their room feel like home.
Your loved one's place of residence might have changed, but your relationship with them hasn't. You must visit them regularly and stay active and engaged in their lives to ensure they don't feel secluded. Seniors may perceive their transfer to an assisted care facility as abandonment. Regular visits will assure them that their beloved family members still love them and are concerned for them.
Friends and family might regularly visit seniors in care homes, but still, they need to build new relationships. The staff working in the facility will likely be the first people your loved one will meet. So, getting to know them thoroughly before enrolling your family member will help. Introduce them to your beloved older family member on time; this will also make them more comfortable when voicing any questions or concerns to the staff.
Encourage your elderly loved one to talk to other residents and get to know them. Making friends will ensure they don't feel depressed or socially isolated.
Being active and engaged in their community can be one of the best ways for the elderly to be happy in nursing homes. Nursing homes arrange activities throughout the day regularly, like reading, arts and crafts, bingo games, etc., and participating in them can help the elderly stay in shape mentally and physically and also allow them to build new relationships.
Encourage your loved ones to participate in these activities. You can even accompany them on the first few if they are hesitant to interact with the community. Ask the staff to tailor activities to the elderly's needs if they refuse to participate otherwise.
4. Health Care
Most seniors living in nursing homes have illnesses or disabilities that require long-term care. Their health care needs must be met to ensure their contentment.
While choosing a nursing home, make sure they have the facilities to care for your loved ones' condition, such as physical therapists, speech therapists, other rehabilitation services, and trained nursing staff. Also, ensure that the nursing home has proper protocols to maintain hygiene and prevent the spread of infections. This includes appropriate provisions of sanitized clothes, blankets, or towels purchased through a medical linen service and proper disposal of waste or any clothes that might carry infection.
You must regularly visit your loved one and monitor their health. Inform the staff if you notice any changes in their health, appearance, or behavior. Keep an eye on any signs of abuse, such as cuts or bruises, and promptly report it to management.
Seniors living in care facilities can benefit greatly from the help of trained staff, other elderly residents, and family and friends. You can ensure that they remain safe and happy by visiting them regularly, monitoring their health, and taking immediate action if you notice any problems. Make sure to always remain in touch so that your elderly family members feel supported instead of feeling abandoned.
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Contributor since August 21st, 2017
As we grow older, there is an increased risk of declining health and frailty due to aging. This is a reality that cannot be avoided, and often it can be accompanied by an increased need for help with daily living activities or supervision due to dementia.
The problem is long-term custodial care is not paid for by traditional health insurance or Medicare. Medicaid will pay for this type of care, but you must have little or no income and assets to qualify. The financial responsibility for paying for long-term health care is yours; otherwise, your loved ones will become caregivers.
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