Family Members’ Attention-Visits Make a Huge Difference
I’ve just finished reading Involved Family Is a Key to Receiving Good Care in Nursing Homes, a December 13, 2011 article in the Detroit Free Press.
The report describes how a nursing home resident benefits enormously when family members drop in to visit on a regular basis and get to know the staff that is caring for their loved one. Family members who are involved in a parent’s community send public and pointed messages to staff about a resident’s support system.
Choosing a nursing home that welcomes family visitors any time may also mean that the professional staff will encourage family members to be involved in the development of a care plan. If not, ask to be included in care plan meetings. A community with people and family oriented policies may not necessarily be the newest or even have the most attractive facilities. A nursing home’s ranking may also not be the best indicator of its family friendly (or non-friendly) policies
Good, three-way communication (family, resident, staff) is critical. A few years ago, when my husband’s mother was in a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation after her stroke, we often stopped in to visit her and share a meal. Or, if we were out-of-town, we would call to talk to her and call the staff to ask questions about how she was doing.
We learned to check to see if any changes were made in her care plan, because several times we were away and changes were made to Mother’s care plan without including us. Once, when we were out-of-town for more than a week, the staff decided to discharge Mother, and we disagreed enough get her physician involved. The doctor agreed with us, so she was able to remain in rehab for another few weeks.
Best Quote From the Article
“The best nursing home in the world is the one where you can stop by on a regular basis,” said Mt. Clemens attorney Patrick Simasko…