Role of Friends and Family When Elderly Individuals Move to a Nursing Home
As people begin to grow older, they need more support than they have required since childhood. That support may come in different forms depending on the individual, including medical care, emotional support, social support, etc. If you are a family member of an aging individual, then you play a very important role in their lives. However, you may not fully know what that role is simply because you have never been in this position before. The first thing you must understand is that it is changing. As your senior loved one grows older, they will have evolving needs and requirements. You will definitely need to evolve along with those changing needs so that you can help provide the support required by your loved ones.
Some of the roles you could play include everything we will discuss below.
You may play the role of informal caregiver. At times, the family opts for the senior loved one to stay in their home instead of moving to an assisted living facility. In this case, if your elderly family member will be moving into your home, then you will play the role of caregiver, but on an informal level. In other words, you won’t be providing them medical care, but you can ensure they take their prescriptions, you will be able to do laundry and run errands for them, and you can ensure they are eating good meals.
If your loved one will be moving into a nursing home or an assisted living facility, then there are other roles you may need to play. One of those could be the financially responsible individual. For example, they may sign over financial power of attorney to you so that you can pay their bills, deposit checks, etc. In this case, you will need to ensure you are careful with that money and that you don’t abuse it in some way.
Mental Health Support
Remember that when an elderly individual moves into a nursing home, they could become withdrawn and depressed. After all, they have given up their freedom and that can make them feel completely out of control. Your role as a family member will be to ensure that they have mental health support. You can be there for them when they feel alone. That means you need to ensure you visit regularly and encourage other family members to do the same.
Your senior loved one will need you as they grow older, and you will play numerous different supportive roles. Ensure you know what those roles are so that you can handle them properly. You can also learn more about how to make living in a nursing home comfortable by reading this article (Four Steps to Happier Living in a Nursing Home), and if you need advice on the transition to the nursing home, then read this article (Five Ways to Make an Assisted Living Move Successful). The choices you make will have a big impact on your elderly loved one’s wellbeing, so make sure you play your roles to the fullest extent.
Tags: Nursing Homes