Helping Your Family Member Adjust to Nursing Home Living – Tip #9

The relationship between you, your loved one, and the staff is a major key for success in helping your family member adjust to nursing home living. At every opportunity engage with the staff. Smile! When any staff member does something right, be sure to compliment them for their efforts. Look for specific things that you genuinely appreciate while staff is caring for your loved one and compliment the care they provide. Whenever possible make their job easier with a positive attitude and by tending to small needs of your loved one. Occasionally take home-baked cookies, fresh fruit, or a favorite coffee cake to the busy staff as a gesture of appreciation. Kindness will help you stand out from the crowd of family members visiting loved ones at the facility, and your loved one may draw more active attention as a result. Be responsive to staff concerns about your family member and ask what you can do to help your family member adjust. Try to resist the urge to dwell on petty flaws or nitpick. Don’t however, feel you must tolerate inadequate or inappropriate treatment. If this occurs, promptly report the situation to the nurse, social worker, manager and/or administration (more to follow on dealing with problems or concerns).