Putting your parents into a nursing home can be a difficult time for everyone. Not only will you miss out on your mother or father’s company in a normal setting but they will be placed into an unfamiliar environment. In this situation, it’s important to show them you really care for them and you’re not just abandoning them and placing them there to spend their last years alone. It’s not difficult to resolve these initial circumstances by following these simple visitation tips. Be smart, plan ahead and be conscientious of your actions. Doing this will allow you to spend time with your elderly parents in a pleasant, sociable manner.
Give Some Thought to Those You’re Visiting: Even if your mother and father have Alzheimer’s, dementia, or some other mental ailment, it’s important to pay respect to them and be considerate of their needs. Remember you are visiting a person and not a used up lump of humanity. To show your parents you’re really keeping their needs in mind when visiting the nursing home, follow this advice:
Respect privacy. Always knock before you enter their room and step outside for a moment if they have to be changed or go to the bathroom.
Leave noisy children and pets at home and don’t visit the nursing home in large numbers. Smaller groups can make the occasion less stressful.
If your parents are sleeping, don’t wake them up. They may need to rest plus they won’t enjoy your company if they are groggy.
By catering to your parents’ needs, they will appreciate your visits a whole lot more and will look forward to seeing you next time.
Get the Necessary Details from the Staff: The nursing home will also have particular rules that you should abide by during your visits. As soon as you can, ask the staff about what you need to do to make their jobs easier and the lives of your parents more comfortable. This includes enquiring about the following matters:
What the visiting hours are during weekdays and on weekends
Whether your parents have been prescribed certain dietary conditions
What the facilities’ regulations are with regards to bringing pets
Whether there are any policies on gifts or tips for staff members
When mealtimes are and if it is allowed for you to visit then
By finding out everything you can about the aged centre your parents are in, you can visit them without any fuss or hassle. The nursing home staff should be happy to discuss their policies and regulations too so that everyone is on the right page when it comes to coexisting together in the one setting. Finally, if you do have any serious complaints, politely take them straight to the administrator.
Let Your Elderly Relatives Steer the Conversation: When spending time with your mom and dad, let them choose the topics you talk about. Often, the elderly like to discuss their youth, what they used to do, past romances, etc.
By letting them choose the conversation, you’ll then avoid bringing up the wrong topics accidentally. There’s no need to traumatize your parents by talking about lost loved ones, broken relationships, etc. Remember to generally keep the discussion positive and to avoid arguments. Since you probably won’t get to spend a long time with your parents maintaining a positive atmosphere will make you look forward to the next visit rather than dreading it!
If you want to add to the topics being discussed, you can always share stories about friends and families that you know they will enjoy. If you have any old photographs, news clippings or letters that are related to these occasions, use them too!
Bring Some Small Gifts with You: Lastly, it can be a good idea to pack some small presents when visiting your parents at the nursing home. Here are some great ideas about what you can give:
Old photo albums, CDs or albumsClassic, Their favorite books, Makeup or perfume
Sweets or snacks, Potted flowers, Comfortable clothing
Just remember to ask the staff whether a particular snack fits in with your parents’ dietary plan or whether the facility allows live plants. By bringing something special every time you visit, you’ll then show your mum and dad you truly appreciate them and can make the experience a lot more positive. The presents you give to your parents don’t have to be highly extravagant or expensive either – the fact that you’ve made the effort will be more than enough to keep them happy and ensure they still feel appreciated.
With a little tender care and forward planning, you can make any nursing home visit one that will bring joy to your aging parents. In this way, you’ll make them feel happy and comfortable despite being in an elderly care facility and not in their own home.
Author Bio: Lauren Downey is writing in a freelance basis for Ashton Grange. Ashton Grange is an established, purpose-built care home offering elderly residential and dementia care.
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