If you had to make the difficult decision of placing your aging parent in a nursing home, it was most likely because they have a health issue requiring specific care, such as medication management, bathing, and dressing, regular meals, or 24-hour supervision. However, care facilities may not always provide the personalized care that a particular client may need. In that case, additional care provided by an in-home care agency may be beneficial for nursing home residents.
Although family members may wish to provide additional care, their work and family commitments, distance, or COVID-19 restrictions may make it difficult or even impossible. Let’s go over the benefits of receiving additional care from an agency:
1. Transportation – A caregiver can drive your parent to appointments, shopping, activities, and social events – as permitted by the nursing home – and stay with them during their visits. This provides your loved one with increased mobility and independence.
2. Laundry/ housekeeping – While basic laundry and housekeeping are typically included in a facility, your parent may have specific preferences. A companion can provide more individualized services and even bring in some personal touches, such as dry cleaning, air fragrance, or fresh flowers.
3. Personal Hygiene and Grooming – Your parent may prefer a slower pace when getting assistance with daily hygiene and grooming. Having a dedicated personal assistant will give them a feeling of dignity and personal privacy.
4. Emotional well-being – Let’s face it – a long-term care environment can be pretty depressing. A companion can help prevent the loneliness, isolation, and anxiety that nursing home residents often suffer from, by engaging your parent in conversation and enjoyable activities.
5. Family connection – A companion can accompany and tend to your parent during family gatherings outside the nursing home and help coordinate virtual gatherings as well, making it possible for your parent to stay connected with your family members.
5. Communication – A companion will not only keep a close eye on your parent, but they can also provide regular updates on their welfare and inform you about concerns they may have about how they are being treated.
6. Memory care – If your loved one has a cognitive condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, a companion who is trained in memory care can provide individualized memory care services that supplement nursing home programs. This would include getting to know your family so they can help your loved one reminisce about important events and family traditions.
It may not have occurred to you that hiring a companion is even an option for an aging parent who resides in a nursing home, so we hope these points have been helpful. It will give your family a great deal of peace of mind, knowing that your parent is not only physically safe but also happier because of the personalized care they are receiving from a loving, attentive companion.