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How to care for the family in nursing homes

Making the decision to place elderly parents in one of the local nursing homes is difficult. It will provide children with some relief and provide older family members with the care they need. However, there are still some things a person can do to continue caring for them. Showing that you still care about them is the best way to make their stay enjoyable.

Meet with the staff

The best way for nursing home staff to create a plan of care for their patients is by meeting with family members. At that appointment, it is important to inform the staff about the habits, likes and dislikes that parents are known to have. Discuss everything from medical needs to possible activities at the site that would benefit the loved one.

Bring some trinkets from home

Although nursing homes do not offer many furniture options, each patient is likely to have a nightstand and dresser. Make the room feel more like home with some of your parents’ knickknacks on display. These can be left on indefinitely or they can be changed every few weeks to give your loved one something to look forward to. Be sure to ask the staff if there are additional ways to personalize the room to make it more unique. It might be possible to hang pictures or bring curtains from home.

Offer to wash clothes

Most facilities give families the option to do their parent’s laundry or pay a little extra to have it washed and dried on site. Offering to bring the clothes home once a week and doing it there is a great way to continue caring for your aging mom or dad. The clothes will smell like home and will be prepared with the love that only a child can give.

Make regular visits

Saying I love you is important, but showing love is even better. Make regular visits to spend quality time with the family member. Before leaving, try to give a return date and time so the patient has something to look forward to. Between physical visits, make a few phone calls to the room and chat about the day’s events.

Organize a pampering day

Set aside a day of the week to pamper mom or dad. Moms would love to have their hair curled, makeup applied, and even massaged with scented lotion while listening to soothing music in the background. Dads may prefer a shave and a haircut, or have their back scratched.

Lastly, let your loved one know that you can call at any time if you need anything or have a concern that you would like to discuss. This shows even more interest and reassures the family member that they can count on you.

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