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What is My Role Once My Loved One Goes to a Skilled Nursing Care Facility?

Skilled nursing care facilities are living facilities that offer various services such as assistance with daily living activities, physical therapy, health services and the like. Making the choice to place a loved one in an elder care community can be an emotionally draining event. There are numerous considerations to take into account, and there may be moments when you question the level of care your elder may receive. This is a natural worry that can be absolved with some initial research and several visits to tour the facilities you and your loved one are considering.  What’s more, once you have made the decision, it can be difficult to discern what your role is now that your loved one is now settled into their new home.

 

The Overbearing One

 

 

You love your family members and want them to have the best possible care available. This can quickly fall into the category of the overbearing caretaker. Being overbearing is likely something that individuals don't realize they are doing, and so can be problematic for all individuals responsible for the caring of your loved one.

 

If you suspect yourself of being "the overbearing one", the first step is to realize that there is a drastic difference between neglect, poor service, and acceptable care. You can improve your understanding of what is going on with your elder and how they are being cared for, by asking for a welcome packet from the assisted living staff. This will outline several of the initial questions you might have and will certainly help you understand the care procedures and protocols.

 

The vast majority of skilled nursing care facilities will also have an orientation process to ensure that you and other family members understand how your loved one will be cared for, as well as, give you the opportunity to ask questions that you are unsure of.

 

If you think you may be too involved in your elder's care, try giving yourself a day off by going to do something that relaxes you. After all, if you have been caring for your loved one yourself, you may feel a little run down from lack of sleep and all the added responsibility. It can be difficult to relinquish control to other caregivers, but your loved one's care depends on giving the staff the ability to do their job properly and that you offer your loved one enough space to continue feeling independent.

 

The Absent One

 

One of the greatest aspects of elder care facilities is that your elder will be able to engage in a healthy social life. Being around peers and having the ability to be social is vital to an individual's mental and physical health. While we are all grateful to those who came before us, it can be difficult to find time to visit a loved one who stays at an elder care facility. Whatever your reason, remembering to just spend a small amount of time can make all the difference in the other areas of their care and therapy.

 

If you purposely avoid visiting your loved one in an assisted living center, start by asking yourself why you don't enjoy the time. These reasons may be deeply personal such as a fear of growing old, or you may just feel as if you don't have time. Either way, by addressing your reasonings you'll be taking a step towards becoming more involved in your elder's life.

 

Finding the Right Balance

 

Finding the right balance between being there for your loved one in elder care and being precariously absent is, in the end, a personal choice. Choosing the right skilled nursing care home for your loved one is the first step towards a solid foundation and making being there for your friend or family member an easy decision. After all, if you have a great staff that interacts with the residents in a respectful and friendly manner, you won't have to worry about lodging complaints or policing the staff. Additionally, when you visit your elder more often, you'll have a chance to ask the staff members questions and pay closer attention to their care, which means the staff will know that you're involved. If you live far away, you should consider having another family member or friend drop by in your stead. If you ever concerned with the well being of your elder, you should, of course, always voice your opinion. If you feel like you should be more involved in your loved one's life, make it a point to put yourself in their shoes.

 

When we discuss your new role after a loved one has moved into an elder care facility, we come from a place of love and understanding. We all want what's best for our loved ones and how that is expressed is different for us all. Skilled nursing care facilities exist to help, but also need our help in order to make our elders' stay more comfortable and offer them the best standard of living possible.  At Jefferson Park at Dandridge, we, our family and staff, pride ourselves in providing compassionate care for our resident elders and families alike. We can't do it alone, however, and we thank all the family and friends of our elders for helping us provide amazing experiences every day.

 

Looking for a community to provide compassionate care to your elder?  Jefferson Park at Dandridge strives to meet each of our elders where they are during their time of need.  To learn more about our community, visit our about, services, or gallery pages.  Give us a call today at 865-397-3163 or contact us online HERE to speak with one of our team members.

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