Nursing home assistant

Caring For Your Loved One In A Nursing Home

Watching your parents get older can be a challenge. The people that used to care for all your needs and spend years of their lives guiding you through childhood begin to become more dependent on others to survive. This often leads to a role reversal where the adult children start to take care of their aging parents.

A decision is sometimes made to move the parents into a nursing home. These facilities are designed to connect aging adults with consistent care as well as a place to live and activities to engage in. However, for as many benefits as there are to living in a nursing home, there are also some disadvantages.

Helping your elderly loved one have a positive experience in a nursing home is not completely on them and the staff. You can play a big role in how they perceive their time there. Let’s talk about some ways that you can care for your aging loved one while they are living in a nursing home.

Caring For Your Loved One In A Nursing Home

Bring The Grandkids By

Connecting the different generations within your family is a great way to support aging parents that may feel isolated in a nursing home. While your visits will be crucial as well for helping your elderly loved ones stay emotionally healthy, having the next generation come along with you can make things even better.

Grandkids can bring even more joy and life into the space of a nursing home, one that may often feel like the opposite for your parent. Plus, children can learn a lot from older generations, and it is good for their brain development, so bringing the grandkids for a visit is a win-win for everyone. Bring some board games or other activities that your parents and your children can participate in together.

Watch Out For Signs Of Abuse

Unfortunately, nursing homes are often in the news for scandals regarding neglect or abuse. The elderly are very vulnerable, so shady individuals can take advantage of them quite easily. Not all instances of abuse and neglect are on purpose, but since victims may not be able to advocate for themselves as well, they are still at risk.

During your visits, keep an eye out for things like unexplained bruises, unhappy residents, your parent being uncomfortable around a certain staff member, or missed medications. If you spot these, that might be the time to call a nursing home abuse lawyer.

Care in nursing home

Increase Communication

Talking with your parent more once they have moved into a nursing home facility can help make the process a little smoother. Sometimes, those first few months can be a huge adjustment, and there will be plenty of challenges and emotions that your parent is dealing with. Offering them an outlet to talk about their experiences is crucial, so be willing to communicate more for a while.

Visit them often in person if possible. If not, try to set them up with technology that allows video calls so you can see each other while you talk. At the very least, regularly call them so they can hear from a familiar voice. While it may feel inconvenient to talk with them more often, you may not understand how badly they will need it.

Help Them Try New Things

Living inside a nursing home can sometimes feel repetitive. You often face the same pattern day after day, which can start to feel monotonous very quickly. As the child of this person that is living in a nursing home, you have the opportunity to inject some variety into their day. Encourage them to see what kinds of activities and social gatherings they can participate in at the facility. Find out yourself by calling the front desk and asking about the social calendar.

When you visit, bring some new games or activities with you that the two of you can do together to pass some time. Variety can make life in the nursing home a bit less bland, so be creative and help your loved one gain new experiences.

Grandparents playing with grandchildren

Help Them Focus On Health

While living in a nursing home is a decision often made because of poor health, that doesn’t mean that wellness becomes an automatic priority to your loved one. For the most part, the nursing home side of things simply solves the need for care services. But wellness should still be a goal for your parent so that they can be healthier and happier during their remaining years.

Offer to go for walks with them whenever you visit or head to the gym together for a workout. Gift them some fitness equipment to keep in their room and do simple exercises while watching TV. Encourage them to focus on healthier foods when they are choosing meals so that their body is getting good nutrients. Prioritizing health while in the nursing home will help them navigate the experience with more energy and positivity.

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