Tips On Staying In Touch With Loved Ones In A Nursing Home During COVID -19
“Help, I have not heard from my Mom in three weeks and I normally hear from her every day. What should I do?”
Some of our clients have contacted the firm regarding not being able to get in touch with their loved ones or the nursing home facility staff. This prompted us to put together some tips on how to make sure they are safe and cared for properly.
1. Request a care plan meeting This meeting involves the staff that care for your loved one such as the CNA, nurse, the doctor, the nutritionist, and/or social worker. You can request a Zoom meeting to assess your loved ones situation.
2. Additionally, set a regular time to talk with your loved one and a member of the nursing home staff who regularly cares for him/her and ask these questions: When did she last bathe, have nails trimmed, have hair cut? How is her skin, hydration, sleep pattern, mental state (specifically depression)? Are they getting out of bed, involved in activities? Have her medications changed? Stay on top of this!
3. Arrange visits with physical distancing like drive by parades (we did this for my Gramma who turned 102), or setting up a partition between you like a screened in porch or window. Let the nursing home facility know you would like to arrange these types of visits-be proactive.
Have A Proactive Role At The Nursing Home Facility
The strongest communication from a care perspective is regular conversation with the the staff that care for your loved one. Talking regularly with loved one can help you assess the mental state for depression. We want to say that the facility staff are doing a fantastic job keeping us informed and caring for the residents. Your proactive role during this time not only helps the care team but also your loved one.
If you have loved ones not in a facility but experiencing loneliness, the Department of Elder Affairs has a program providing robotic pets to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. You may contact them at www.elderaffairs.state.fl.us. Elder Options of Alachua also has resources to offer calls to loved one for check-ins and other series for seniors. You may contact them at agingresources.org
If you have ideas to share regarding resources you find helpful and/or stay in touch tips, please contact us and we can share on social media for others to learn about. Communication with loved ones in a nursing home is vital to their quality of life.
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The Miller Elder Law Firm
Shannon Miller, founder of The Miller Elder Law Firm, is a Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Attorney practicing in Gainesville, Florida. Ms. Miller is a member of the Florida Bar Elder Law Section’s Legislative Committee, a Past President of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA), and is a frequent speaker on elder law issues.
She is highly specialized in handling financial exploitation cases and recovering assets for its victims. Other practice areas include guardianship, wills and trusts, probate, estate planning, special needs planning, medicare planning and asset freeze litigation. Ms. Miller also serves as an expert for exploitation legislation impacting the state of Florida by protecting vulnerable adults.