If Mom in a facility, like a nursing home, here are 10 tips that will make a good mother’s day visit plus guard against future problems
1.) Make contact with staff that cares for her, like the Director of Nursing. Ask for an update on how your Mom is doing and if periodic updates can be sent to you from the facility. If not why???
2) Don’t be reluctant to talk to the aides about care. They are on the front line. Facilities, especially nursing homes, have low staff-to-patient ratios — like 1 aide to 10–15 patients. Things get missed, call lights stay unanswered.
3) Get the business cards of the Social Worker, RN and Administrative staff. Make those contacts and ask for periodic updates or call yourself on a regular basis to all 3. The squeaky wheel gets attention
4) Hire a geriatric care manager to monitor and visit for you weekly or monthly . These professional will give you excellent reporting and can arrange activities to increase Mom’s quality of life.
5) If something is really a serous concern – immediately contact the ombudsman at the facility and introduce yourself. This is a free national Older Americans Act Program that monitors care in nursing homes and other facilities.
6) Your visits, on mother’s day or anytime you are in town) make care better Periodic drop -ins by a long-distant caregiver to a long-term care facility where the care recipient is residing are critical. It is important for the long distance caregiver to establish good contacts with employees (aides, the social worker, the RN charge nurse, the director), and let the contact person at the facility know that the long distance caregiver appreciates what they’re doing.
7) Eat a meal while you are there. Check out the quality of the food and the presentation. Remember, this is your relative’s house. They deserve a great kitchen. Is the place spotless? They deserve a clean home.
8)Talk to other residents and ask what they think of the care. Are there religious services, people talking, activities that are more than numb TV? Are people calling for their mother endlessly?
9) Bring a gift to enhance Mom’s life in a nursing home- bring your family and have them there. Make a banner that says happy mother’s day for her room. Get a gift certificate to have her hair done if it an extra expense at the facility, Bring a gift of a new set of clothes, Try CEIVA a digital photo frame. You can automatically update the pictures from your computer as can the rest of your long distance family. Or try these 10 other gift ideas for a Mom in a facility
10) Make arrangements to have one of Mom’s friends, old or new, go by and visit, and let you know how things are going. In a facility the squeaky wheel is often the only voice heard. Make it heard.