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Nursing Homes: 5 Common Hassles to Avoid

By: Vanessa Share

Anyone who has been in the same position before will attest to the fact that it can be one of the hardest choices to make: putting your aging parent in a nursing home for the rest of their days.

Failing health, a lack of space at home or declining finances, there are numerous reasons why parents make the difficult decision to put their mother or father, aunt or uncle in a nursing home. You feel guilty, you feel heartbroken and you feel it is the right thing to do. Indeed, there are so many conflicting emotions when it comes to transferring your parent into this facility. You will want to do the proper research on the nursing home beforehand. Royale Place Retirement Residence may provide you with more information on their website.

Despite ultimately being the correct decision, there are numerous things that you must avoid doing at a nursing home. Since nurses, healthcare providers and aides spend a great deal time with your loved one changing their clothes, offering entertainment and feeding them, oftentimes there can be friction between staff and the patient, or even the family member such as yourself.

Over the years, geriatric experts have seen it all. With this knowledge in mind, geriatric care professionals have compiled a list of things that you should and shouldn't do with your loved in a nursing home. Even if you feel they're not being looked after, you still have to be calm, respectful and understanding, otherwise they won't get the care they absolutely need.

Here are five things a geriatric expert will tell you to avoid at a nursing home:

Don't Miss Out on Scheduled Visits

When you have a family member in a nursing home then you should always take the time to visit them. Oftentimes, you will have to schedule an appointment to see your parent to ensure they are ready to have visitors and guests.

You must remember to never miss out on these scheduled visits. Not only is it bad for the aging individual, it is also bad for the nursing home itself. The reason why is because you can learn more about your loved one's health from the staff members, what the status updates are and how exactly he or she is being taken care of. These are pertinent details to have each time you visit.

Never Directly Complain About the Personnel

If you want to make enemies at the nursing home then the best thing to do is to be a chronic complainer, make passive aggressive suggestions to the staff and directly insult the people caring for your parent.

On the other hand, if you wish to avoid this, never do any of the aforementioned. Simply put: you must refrain from ever directly complaining about the personnel. If you do have some minor grievances then you must take it up with management, which will then handle the situation.

Refrain From Contacting the Facility at Busy Times

The busiest times at a nursing home are during bedtime, mealtime and shift changes. If you want to get in proper touch with the nursing home staff and to garner any important updates then you should reach the facility at any other time. You won't get much data during these busy times.

Have One Person be Responsible in the Family

Nursing homes are extremely busy and stressful places to work at. This means that you should have one or two main contact points for the nursing home staff to contact in case of an emergency or something urgent. If they have to keep in touch with multiple family members then there will be moments of lost in translation or additional workload for the staff.

Miracles Can Sometimes be Impossible

Here is something you have to remember: miracles can sometimes be impossible.

You should not expect the world from a nursing home. They have dozens or hundreds of other patients, they have limited funding and they don't have the staff to personally cure every disease, illness or sickness. If you can't personally do it then you can't expect them to do it either.

Be calm, understanding and respectful and they will do their best to treat your loved one.

Life at a nursing home is already difficult for the staff members. They have to see a lot during their shifts, and this can eventually weigh on the personnel. Therefore, you have to employ some sympathy. At the same time, you must always ensure that your aging parent is being properly cared for. Communication, respect and realistic expectations are key attributes to have throughout these tough. There is a relevant discussion on AgingCare.com about the topic of moving into a nursing home, which may be worth an interesting read.