Putting a loved one in a nursing home is rarely easy. The experience can be scary for everyone involved, particularly when you hear stories about nursing home abuse and neglect.
It can be difficult to trust people you don’t know to take care of your loved one’s daily needs, which is why cultivating a relationship with the nursing home staff is important.
Learn who does what
One of the best ways to do this is by maintaining good communication with appropriate members of the staff. Every staff member has different responsibilities.
For example, some staff members oversee dispending medications and taking care of daily needs, while others may oversee social activities. Learn who will be doing what for your loved one so you know who can best answer your questions.
Treat staff with respect
Above all, always treat every member of the nursing home staff with respect. Remember that they have the necessary education, skills and training to work with elderly individuals who are fragile, ill or lonely.
Their job can be incredibly demanding and stressful, so always be patient and courteous with them. Thank them for everything they are doing for your loved one and the other patients.
Show gratitude, but don’t be overbearing
Ask your loved one their thoughts on their caregivers. If they tell you there is one that treats them well or there is one you especially appreciate, let them or their boss know. However, respect their boundaries. Avoid communicating with them in their personal time or contacting them through social media.
Do not demand their attention or expect that they will drop everything they are doing to talk with you if you have a question about your loved one. If it is truly an emergency, alert the appropriate staff, but if you are asking a basic question, wait until they have a moment to talk with you.
These tips can help you develop and sustain a valuable and meaningful relationship with nursing home staff.