I know a lot of families are faced with having to make the difficult decision of selecting the next sensible move for their elderly relatives. This may result in having to find the right nursing home which can seem very daunting.
I won’t turn today’s blog into an advice article but recently I was asked to visit a number of nursing homes with a friend who is faced with the dilemma of choosing somewhere suitable for a relative. The ultimate decision, where possible should of course involve the wishes and hopefully a visit beforehand by the proposed resident.
I have to say the three I visited were all very different but I was pleasantly surprised how welcome we were made and how staff made every effort to answer all my questions. It’s a really good idea to have somebody with you that is not so emotionally involved and able to be focused and objective.
I know some people are put off by the larger more modern homes but I was very impressed with the few I have visited the past year for one reason or another. The buildings are purpose built with superb en suite facilities and one even had a treatment room for the ladies to have their hair done and proper facilities for visiting chiropodist. These may seem unimportant facilities but they matter for those who will be unable to get out and about. New residents are properly assessed to ensure they receive the necessary support which may be dementia or stroke rehab related.
I have also been impressed by the many activities which are available to residents even in the smaller homes including sensory and reminiscence work. The sad picture some people may have in their minds of unhappy elderly folk sitting in a circle being ignored is far from the truth. Through my research I met some really dedicated and well-trained staff who genuinely care about the well-being of their residents and make every effort to bond with families too.
My tip is to visit as many as possible in your chosen area and don’t leave it until the last minute. As difficult as it is to talk about this with you relatives…please please do so and ensure you fully involve them. It is a well-known fact that parents do not want to feel a burden to their children and they will certainly try to hide just how vulnerable they feel.
My closing comment came from a manager at a very homely place who said she does everything she can to reassure her residents they are not a burden!
‘I remind them without them I wouldn’t have such a lovely job.’