Getting older is part of the natural aging process and everyone is getting older every day. However, knowing that does not make the process any easier on some individuals. Aging can be overwhelming and at times, uncertain and frightening. This may cause your loved one to not want to seek out the best help for themselves, refuse help, or not consider options that may be beneficial to them such as nursing homes and rehab facilities. This outline will help you to discuss these options with your aging loved one and how to take an empathetic approach to their long term care.
Start with Empathy
In order to find the best care for your aging loved one, the first thing you will need to do is understand how your loved one is feeling. If you are younger, this could be a challenge. Know that this territory they are in can sometimes feel unnerving and they may even feel confused about their situation. Many aging adults either feel like a burden upon their family or are in denial about needing extra, more specialized, care. This can lead to feelings of agitation and aggression, resulting in negative outbursts. This can also cause tension amongst the family.
Instead, try to come from a place of empathy. Talk to your loved one often about what struggles they are facing, as well as what will bring them joy. Ask them questions about their opinions on long term nursing homes or the current care they are receiving. You will end up learning more about your loved one and what they want out of the rest of their time here.
Keep The Conversation Open
When a family member first brings up long term nursing homes, it is unlikely that a loved one will immediately be open to the idea of a long term care facility. Unfortunately, it typically takes a life-changing experience or persistence by family members for a loved one to consider long term nursing homes as an option.
However, one of the most helpful things you can do for your loved one is to keep the conversation open. If they do not agree to a nursing home right away, do not become angry with them. If they mention something being difficult for them or that they miss a certain thing, that might be an excellent time to bring up a nursing home into the conversation.
Do Your Research
Roughly 52% of people that will need a long-term care facility at least some time in their life. After learning about what your loved one is expecting for their long term care, do your research accordingly. You will want to find a facility that will meet their needs and provide them with what they are looking for. For instance, many aging adults want to keep as much of their independence as they can.
Depending on the long term care facility, the independence level allotted could vary. So, this is an important aspect to do your research on. Another helpful thing you will want to look into is what the facility provides for aging adults. This could be community events, activities, clubs, and lessons. This will help to keep your loved one engaged with their surroundings and may offer them ways to connect with others that they did not previously have access to.
Tour The Facility
A tour is a great way for a senior to see just what all they will experience when they stay at that facility and what that place has to offer them. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet and learn about the staff, as well as the people who already live there. Your loved one will then be able to ask any questions they have or address any concerns in person.
The aging process is a natural part of life, but it does not have to be an overwhelming one. Speaking with and getting to know your loved one can help you learn about any concerns they may have with long term care facilities. This can help you keep the conversation open when you discuss long term nursing homes.