Making the decision to take your loved one to a nursing home is never easy. It’s a scary time for the whole family, but it can be particularly stressful for your relative who is transitioning into a new stage of their life.
As intimidating as it can be to hand over the care of your older relative to the staff at a nursing home, it’s sometimes necessary to ensure that they’re getting all of the help that they need. Below, we’re going to cover three ways a nursing home can help your loved one.
How Can a Nursing Home Keep Your Loved One Safe and Healthy?
Health and happiness are just as important in the senior years as they are in the younger years. Your elderly relative might require more care than you’re able to provide by yourself or with your family. They might also need specialist treatment, medication, and equipment to maintain a high quality of life.
Here are four of the many different ways that a nursing home, such as La Jolla Nurses Home Care, can help to keep your loved one safe and healthy.
1. Ongoing help and support with daily activities
As a busy adult, it can be tough to find enough time in your schedule to provide full-time or even part-time care for your loved one. In a residential home, they will receive ongoing help, care, and support.
Each morning, staff members will check on every resident in the home to see whether they need help getting ready for the day. At any one moment, your relative can shout a qualified nurse or healthcare worker for assistance, so they’re never putting their health or safety at risk.
If your relative needs help with their personal hygiene, nursing home staff can help them to wash, brush their teeth, and get dressed. There is a wide range of tools and aids that the staff can provide for your older relative to make general day-to-day activities easier and more enjoyable for them.
Staff can also aid residents with feeding at mealtimes if they’re unable to eat by themselves, whether this is due to poor hand dexterity or cognitive impairment. If your relative takes regular medications, the employees at the nursing home will make sure they remember to take them each day.
2. Regular exercise and social activities
Exercise can help to keep your older relative healthy physically and mentally, as can social activities. Many nursing homes offer a range of activities for their residents, including daily walks, game days, arts and crafts, music sessions, and reading activities.
Community and social interactions become even more important in the senior years. By participating in these types of activities with the staff and other nursing home residents, your older relative will feel a sense of community. Their physical, mental, and social health will get a boost, and they’re less likely to suffer from chronic diseases because of this.
The close link between social interaction and a reduced risk of disease has been evidenced in a wide range of studies. Socialization maintains and even improves brain health, which can decelerate the rate of cognitive decline in older adults and significantly lower the risk of conditions like dementia.
A lot of residential homes allow guests to join in with the social activities, so you can spend quality time with your loved one on a regular basis. You might play along with a game of bingo to win a special prize or team up with your relative in a communal game of charades!
3. Healthy and nutritious meals
Older adults can often struggle to eat a well-balanced diet that has adequate nutrients for their needs. They might forget to eat or find it difficult to cook by themselves if they live alone at home.
Most nursing homes have dedicated kitchens with qualified chefs who know how to make the most delicious and nutritious dishes that your relative will love. You won’t need to worry about your relative missing out on important nutrients or forgetting to eat their meals and snacks, as most nursing homes have dedicated mealtimes for their residents.
In a residential home, your loved one can enjoy regular healthy meals that contain healthy carbohydrates, proteins, fatty acids, and micronutrients, and fulfill all of their nutritional needs. They’ll have a choice of hot and cold meals, as well as delicious snacks or graze on in between meal times.
Eating is a social activity too. Nursing home residents can enjoy their breakfast together outside in the garden or sit in the dining room to eat supper each evening with other residents and staff.
Some nursing homes offer the option for family members to eat with their relatives in the dining room. You can plan for a weekend meal with your loved one to catch up and bond over some delicious food.
4. Access to immediate medical attention if needed
Nursing homes are staffed 24/7, so no matter what time of the day or night it is, your relative can always access help if they need it. From doctors to nurses to paramedics, there is a range of qualified medical staff in a nursing home at any one time, as well as lots of specialized medical equipment for emergency situations.
It’s never nice to think about your loved one needing emergency medical attention or treatment. However, this is something that you can’t ignore when you have an aging relative, especially if they are dealing with chronic physical or cognitive health conditions.
If your relative is in serious need of medical help, they can call out to a staff member or press the emergency button by their bed. Within minutes, they will have multiple healthcare professionals by their side who can resolve the situation or escalate the issue to community-wide emergency services if necessary.