Choosing the right Care or Nursing Home for a loved one
One of the hardest things you will face as an adult is watching your parent, or other family members grow old. And as we are all reading and hearing in the news these days complications arise from this. How do I know this, well I know with great ease because I’ve already seen and experienced it with my own Grandparents. And I am sure with my parents next.
If you have a loved one or member of your family that has been diagnosed with dementia, there can I know be a lot of confusion and heartbreak in all your thoughts and actions. Therefore, I know from my own Grandparents that the best thing that you can do is to educate yourself on Alzheimer’s & Dementia. Doing so, will help you understand what your loved one is going through, and can help improve your awareness, skill-set and prepare you for the disease’s progression – as will be the case.
And alike many others who aren’t able to be a Carer? Or discovered after trying to, you couldn’t handle the responsibility of being their Carer as it was sadly too much than you could handle? Perhaps it is at this point, when do you need to decide whether a Nursing home is the best place for your loved one?
Here is where You and I start
Most importantly, ensure you take the right amount of time that you need to find the right and best type of care for your loved one.
Choose the right Nursing Home
Sadly it is in the news nearly every week nowadays, about news stories and reports about nursing home residents who have been mentally, physically, and emotionally abused by incompetent or uncaring Carer employees. Sadly in some cases, families have had to contact the police to report on their family member’s abuse. It is a sad fact that your family member may not be able to report just how badly they are being treated. Therefore, ensuring you choose the right nursing home is essential, and I hope from our experiences on more than one occasion what I am writing here will help ensure your family member is placed in a Care or Nursing Home that will ensure and take pride in the care they provide. As I know from my own recent experiences, it is out there.
Our Key points when choosing a Home
When starting your search for the right nursing home, there are different things to look for and consider. By looking at the key points below, you will know exactly what kind of care or nursing home you are happy to put your loved one in.
Start by checking various Care Home websites such as the Care Quality Commission website via: http://www.cqc.org.uk/
There is as also a section on the website that displays all the latest checks. As also a search bar where you can search for a specific Care/Nursing home and thereafter you can view all the relevant information and CQC report finding. As also view if they have had any recent penalties, what they scored on their last inspection, and how they rate in comparison to other nursing homes in the area.
Look at the staffing levels within the Home. As if your loved one is diagnosed with dementia—they are going to be in need of constant care and attention. Whilst walking around count the number of staff that you see to gauge the ratio of aid to patients within the nursing home. Ask the Home employees how often they switch patients.
It is not uncommon that nursing homes do not have a committed staff member to one specific patient. If you wish to discuss this area, ensure you do so before you decide the nursing home.
Look at the rooms situation. In some cases, the nursing home may have 2 people sharing a room, each with their own TV. If you are concerned with it being too loud and noisy for your loved one then simply talk to the staff or Home Manager.
Take note of the smell in the Home. The Care or Nursing Home should always smell like a nicely kept home. In fact, ask yourself if you would be happy staying there. Any house with a bad smell or stench suggests poor cleanliness.
Look and ask about the activities they offer in the Nursing/Care Home. They should offer more than just bingo or dominos! The more active they are and socially involved the better.
You are now ready to choose the right Home
It is possible, that you may not know exactly what to do after your loved one is placed in their new home. So remind yourself that you can’t be everywhere at once, as you have your own routine and things to do. Here are some tips to ensure your loved one receives the right levels of care from YOU and the Home:
Visit your loved one as often as you like or can. We found that the more involved with our family members life we received the best help and support we could have imagined from the staff.
Visit your loved one during their meal times if you can. As this helps ensure you see what their everyday routine involves. And if you can or like, you can help them eat and be more involved in what they do.
If you wish you can provide them with their own bedding, pillows, and any furniture that they are comfortable using such as an armchair they used at home. Or a TV they know how to work easily – this depends on what stage they are at with the dementia. In some cases, certain things may not be allowed, but certain things that bring some home comforts are both allowed and encouraged. Such as our next tip.
Do not forget any pictures, favourite books or family mementos etc. These are helpful to the home carers as they can use these objects to bring up things to talk about and discuss during their daily routine.
Sadly for whatever reason things can get lost or perhaps even placed somewhere and forgotten. Therefore, ensure you write your loved ones name on every item that they bring in with you. As sometimes theft can occur in the nursing home or as I say simply gets lost and forgotten. So try and keep track of all their belongings.
How you can best deal with Dementia
If I were to use one word that stands out, that you will need and that is “patient” or “patience”.
As dementia is usually a struggle to deal with especially when seeing your loved one suffer this terrible disease. As I said at the beginning the first step you can make is to build your knowledgebase and gain as much information as possible about the disease. Knowledge is power.
Learn how the disease progresses and be aware that your loved one will lose their physical ability and their memory will fade.
If you are not already, learn to be more patient as your loved one will become much slower, so always offer them support and comfort when needed.
Just as importantly be patient with yourself. So take regular breaks, do some exercise and play games with your loved one such as their favourite games such as Cards or Draughts if possble . Try and have fun.
There is obviously much more than what I have wrote above when dealing with dementia. But these are key points to remember. As if you accept what is happening to your loved one and gain the knowledge required to help you be patient with yourself and your loved one this challenging situation will be made easier to deal with.