How to Enhance the Experience of a Loved One Living in a Nursing Home

Nursing homes and other assisted living settings are an inevitable chapter for many aging individuals and their families.

How to Enhance the Experience of a Loved One Living in a Nursing Home

While the care of your loved one is mainly in the hands of the facility, you doubtless want to stay involved in the process. Ensuring your family member lives comfortably requires some mindful planning and engagement on your part.

Here are some ways to enhance the experience of a beloved elder living in a nursing home. 

1. Check In Regularly 

Ensuring your loved one receives regular check-ins is paramount to their emotional and physical health. Consistent visits allow you to quickly identify any issues that may arise, such as changes in behavior or dissatisfaction with care. Regular visits will keep you updated on your loved one’s health and whether they’re staying in good spirits. It is also crucial to show your family member how much you care for them. 

If you live a considerable distance from your loved one, arrange to have others pop by to pay them visits. Reach out to family members or friends living nearby and explain what it would mean for them to drop in. Make a point of building relationships with the elder’s care providers as well. Establishing a rapport with nursing home staff is essential for creating a collaborative, supportive environment for your loved one. 

Having someone close to your family member have eyes on the scene could be critical in detecting any mistreatment. If you or they notice signs that your loved one is being abused or neglected, do not hesitate to speak up and call an assault lawyer. You may need to get in touch with nursing home abuse attorneys to resolve the issue and settle any legal matters. 

2. Personalize Their Living Space 

Transitioning to an assisted living setting is tough for many aging adults, especially when it comes to leaving their beloved homes behind. Personalizing their new space can help them feel more at home and at ease with the adjustment. You should approach this personalization with your loved one’s tastes and interests in mind. 

Setting out framed photos of happy memories with friends and celebrations with family is a simple yet profound way to personalize the space. These photographs can serve as reminders of sweet times and the people who care about your senior. Cherished trinkets, favorite blankets, and artwork can also promote a sense of familiarity and comfort. 

Such personalization of their living space helps nursing home residents maintain a stronger sense of autonomy, which tends to feel diminished when transitioning to a care facility. Moving into an assisted living community can induce anxiety, which can be lessened by surrounding the individual with familiar things. Giving your loved one control over their immediate environment also promotes the dignity that should be at the center of their care. 

3. Celebrate Special Occasions 

Keeping celebrations alive gives nursing home residents a sense of stability while honoring traditions. Especially prioritize the holidays that have historically been important to your family member. It would be a wonderful gift to have you and other loved ones stop by for a visit on birthdays and anniversaries. Don’t show up empty-handed — bring something that marks the occasion, like a small present or flowers. 

Taking time to honor special moments can do a lot to bring joy and excitement to a beloved senior. Lifting their spirits in this way can make a lasting impact on their mental well-being and enable them to find more things to look forward to. Such celebrations are also great opportunities for creating positive memories and building connections with other residents in the assisted living community. 

If you can’t visit your special person on an important day, check to make sure the nursing home staff is marking the occasion. This planning could involve sending a note or email to alert staff of your family member’s upcoming birthday or special day. Sending a card and flowers can be a beautiful and heartfelt way to express your love from afar. 

4. Encourage Hobbies 

Just because a cherished elder has transitioned into a new life chapter doesn’t mean they still don’t still value their life’s interests. Encourage them to stay engaged with their hobbies after moving into a nursing home. Doing so will enhance their overall living experience by offering numerous physical and emotional benefits. 

Hobbies provide mental stimulation, helping to keep your loved one’s mind active and engaged. They might engage in activities that require memory and concentration, like puzzles, card games, and reading. Crocheting or assembling jigsaw puzzles will give their fine motor skills a workout. Reading a book or finishing a scarf also provides nursing home residents with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. 

The social interaction involved with many hobbies provides the connection required to live a full, happy life. Knitting circles, book clubs, and card-playing groups all offer a way to stay involved while pursuing a favorite activity. Building connections with like-minded people combats social isolation, which can particularly devastate those in assisted living environments. 

Ensuring Happy, Safe Golden Years 

You owe it to your aging loved one to make sure they live out their golden years safely and happily. It is normal to feel overwhelmed as they settle into their new environment; this is a huge transition for both of you.

Prioritize their dignity and unique needs as you decide what is best for them in this life chapter. As long as you come from a place of love and respect, you’ve already done much to ensure your loved one is well cared for.