Making the decision to place aging parents in one of the local nursing homes is a difficult one. It will provide the children some relief and give older family members the care they need. However, there are still a few things that a person can do to continue caring for them. Showing that you still care for them is the best way to make their stay a pleasant one.
Meet With the Staff
The best way for the staff in nursing homes to create a care plan for their patients is by meeting with the family members. At that appointment, it is important to inform the staff of any habits, likes, and dislikes that the parent is known to have. Discuss everything from medical needs to possible on-site activities that would benefit the loved one.
Bring a Few Knick-Knacks From Home
Although nursing homes don’t offer a great deal in furniture options, chances are each patient will have a nightstand and a dresser. Make the room feel more like home with a few of your parent’s knick-knacks on display. These can be left indefinitely, or they can be changed out every few weeks to give the loved one something to look forward to. Don’t forget to ask the staff if there are any additional ways the room can be personalized to make it more unique. It might be possible to hang pictures or bring curtains from home.
Offer to Do the Laundry
Most facilities give families the option of doing their parent’s laundry or paying a little extra for it to be washed and dried on-site. Offering to take the laundry home once per week and do it there is a great way to continue to care for your aging mom or dad. The clothes will smell like home and be prepared with the love that only a child can give.
Make Regular Visits
Saying I love you is important, but showing the 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 that the patient has something to look forward to. In between physical visits, place a few phone calls to the room and chat about the day’s events.
Organize a Day of Pampering
Set aside a day of the week to pamper mom or dad. Moms would love having their hair curled, makeup applied, and even having a hand massage with a fragrant lotion while listening to soft music in the background. Dads might prefer a shave and a haircut, or to have their backs scratched.
Finally, let the loved one know he or she can call at any time should they need something or have a concern they’d like to discuss. This further shows interest and reassures the family member that he or she can count on you.