This page was written from personal experience with major metropolitan nursing homes considered to have good standards and services. I am not a health care professional. I am not an expert on aging. I am a person who has already been there and done that with parents. You will likely get many standard answers and information on nursing home care, but as with many things, there are a lot of unanswered questions about nursing homes that you won't know to ask about until you actually experience having someone you love in a nursing home.
Considering a Nursing Home
Though I am not a health care expert, observations show me that 1. Communication skills will diminish. 2. Common objects and words may not be easily identifiable after years of nursing home living - simple things like colors, names of fruits, vegetables and meats. After 5 years of not seeing (or using) things that used to be familiar, mother forgot her favorite flower varieties, and cold not identify colors. We found bringing in magazines and picture books helped her to recollect and identify objects. We would sit with her at a table and point out certain things; ask her questions.
People only seen in the recent past may become hard to remember -
like young great grandchildren! I understand that is a short-term/long-term
memory issue. Look at the hints about photos in Tips
for helping a person living in a nursing home. Don't feel bad if
nature and time have caused someone, including yourself, not to be recognized.
You may need to gently re-introduce yourself, but show your love anyway,
and talk about familiar things.
MOM'S HERE TO STAY
Observation: In a nursing home people can
become depressed - cry or withdraw. When the realization that
they are there to stay sets in; or they fervently miss their previously
independent life; or when they miss being among family life; or when
they miss the familiarity of their old home, there may be tears and
depression. Sometimes drugs will be prescribed to alleviate nursing
home depression. Sometimes you have to ask for drugs. It helps to talk
to the person you love. See the section on
What can I talk about with a person in a nursing home?
Observation: Some people are actually relieved
to be living in nursing home: People who worried about injuries,
or are tired of the energy it takes to run a home or apartment, those
worried about getting in or out of the bathtub, people tired of hot
days and snow days, some who don't have the energy for cooking or shopping
or cleaning. Just being alone can be frightening or difficult for some
people. Some people know when they have worked enough in their life
and it is time they were taken care of.
or read it all:
Click here to go to the next page:Tips for Helping a
Person living in a Nursing Home