When you hear that someone has moved into a nursing home or long-term care facility, what goes through your mind? Do you feel sorry for that person because you assume, or know firsthand, that nursing homes are difficult places to live? Well, there is no getting around this fact: nursing homes ARE difficult places to live.
I know this because my Dad lived in a nursing home during the last five years of his 15-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease stole many things from my Dad, including his ability to walk, talk, and take care of himself. Our family was no different than the countless caregivers worldwide who try their best on a daily basis to give their family member the best care possible at home.
Then, the day came when we knew that because of the progression of Dad’s Alzheimer’s disease, nursing home care was required. That was a very difficult day — a sad and heartbreaking day. The transition that our family made from being his caregivers at home, to being his secondary caregivers at the nursing home was a difficult one. If your family member resides in a nursing home, you know all about this particular day. You also know exactly how it feels to put the care of the person you love so much into the hands of complete strangers.
What I learned over time is that nursing home care needs to be managed, monitored, and organized. Also, that the responsibility of the family actually increases once their loved one moves into a skilled nursing facility. Our family was blessed to have a core group of professional and compassionate nursing home staff who worked with Dad. Yet, we faced ongoing challenges with the care that he received at the nursing home. As Dad’s Alzheimer’s disease progressed, these challenges multiplied.
The nursing home care experience can be like trying to navigate a tiny boat through rough seas. Yet, although it can be difficult, this new phase of your loved one’s life can also be full of ease, grace — even joy! Now, I’m ready to share what I learned about nursing home care with others. I look forward to assisting you and your family!