August 16th, 2011 at 9:00 am
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Getting used to a nursing home takes time

by Isabel Fawcett, SPHR

Just as it takes elder time to get used to living in a nursing home, it also takes more than a little time for a former caregiver to get used to the nursing home. That’s what is happening today, now that we’ve moved mom into a nursing home.

Mom, the nursing home and me

Initially, my reaction to the nursing home was one of trepidation. My footsteps were unsure when I went to visit my mother. Some days, there would be an ambulance or critical care mobile unit outside the nursing home with its engine running. On such days, I’d hold my breath wondering whether my mother may have been in need of emergency care.

In time, I have come to trust that nursing home staff will always call whenever there is a change in my mother’s health or medications. The calls go a long way toward making me feel more at ease with Mom’s new paid caregivers.

Remaining a caregiver, while others care

When I walk into the nursing home, I find myself being greeted by residents and staff members. I’m quickly learning the names of the residents. Other family visitors who once cared for a loved one are among my newest friends. We’re all still caregivers. We are also blessed with a dedicated nursing home staff who takes care of our loved ones 24/7.

I am impressed by both the ethnic and racial diversity of the nursing home’s staff. This diversity makes for not only lively interactions but a dynamic healthcare environment as well. My mother’s new doctor often speaks to Mom in Spanish and remains responsive to any health related concerns I have shared with her regarding Mom’s ever fluctuating health.

Whereas Mom speaks and understands Spanish, she has only been responding in English since she’s been in the nursing home. It was a pleasant surprise when a fellow caregiver and regular nursing home visitor reminded Mom (in Spanish) that my mother speaks Spanish and encouraged her to respond in Spanish. For the first time since she has been in the nursing home, my mother spoke in Spanish and held her own in a Spanish conversation thanks to our new friend.

I’m trying to remember what reservations I once had about nursing homes. Like everything else, it just takes time to get used to a major life change–one day at a time.

Posted in Caregiving, Nursing Home | 2 Comments »
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2 Comments to “Getting used to a nursing home takes time”

  1. Katherine Roberts

    Transition can be really hard not only to the parents but also to their children. It really takes some time to get used to this feeling, visiting your mom in the nursing home and watching other people take care of her. The sadness and longing will soon go away if you always think that this is the best for your mom. She deserves to have the best senior care.

  2. assisted living portland

    I surely takes time. Sometimes it is a big shock for elderly to be in the nursing home. But over time it is for the best.

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