Caregivers may have cared for a loved one at home for many years but oftntimes, it becomes necessary to place that person in a long-term care facility. They are often totally unprepared for what happens next.
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This book which is a short read contains valuable information on how to work with staff; how to deal with "troublesome" residents, and how to make caregiving a celebration instead of a catastrophe.
The reader will discover ways to make visits pleasant and memorable. There is also information on how to deal with other family members .
What are some things you are bound to hear? How can you respond? What do you do when sexual issues arise involving your loved one? How can you make your loved one's personal space attractive? These questions and more are answered in the book.
June 16,1997. The hardest thing Iíve ever had to do
happened on that day. It was the day I finally had to
place both my parents in a nursing home.
They had been living with me for a short period of
time after Dad had been hospitalized. Then Dadís condition deteriorated to the point where it was
obvious that he would need round-the-clock nursing care.
At this time, Dad was ninety-two and Mother was eighty-six. Mom was already exhibiting signs of dementia so it was clearly dangerous for her to be alone in the house.
Besides, after 60 years of marriage, it would have been cruel to separate them.
Dad passed away three months later soon after his
ninety-third birthday but at this writing, my mother who is almost ninety-two, is still in the nursing home.
After six years of visiting with her, Iíve learned a lot
of things. Iíve discovered ways in which to make our visits pleasant and satisfying. I have also been a keen observer of other residents and their visitors.
I have noticed how so many visitors sit awkwardly in
silence while their loved one stares into space, seemingly oblivious to their presence. Worse yet,
Iíve encountered numerous residents who never get a visitor.
While it is true that distance can be a major factor,
it is also apparent to me that the nursing home has, in effect, become a dumping ground for many elderly persons.
My research shows that while there is ample material for health care professionals working
in assisted living and nursing home care, there isnít anything written specifically for families.
. Oh sure, there are plenty of books on choosing the right nursing home, handling financial and
legal matters, but thatís where it ends.
But in reality, thatís not where it ends for you. The
stress of decision-making, handling financial affairs, and making all the necessary arrangements may be over, but now youíve embarked on another phase of care-giving.
You undoubtedly feel guilty about having to place
your loved one in a nursing home. You are not alone in feeling this way. Youíve probably heard the
saying that ďa mother can take care of ten children but ten children canít take care of one motherĒ.
Hopefully, you will begin to see that the saying is faulty after you have read this manual.
Taking care of a loved one goes beyond providing
living arrangements. If you establish a good working partnership with the facility you have
chosen for your loved one, then your caregiving will take on a new dimension.