The holiday season brings visits with family and friends, and for many, this includes spending time with loved ones in nursing homes. A trip to the nursing home can be emotionally draining and difficult, depending on how far you must travel to see your loved one. These factors are intensified during the holidays with busy calendars, added traffic, and the absence of your loved one for family traditions. To lessen the stress of holiday visits with loved ones in nursing homes, it helps to prepare beforehand to ensure you have quality time together.
Check Schedules Carefully
First, check your family schedule to confirm you have not double booked yourself anywhere. If you have children, holidays mean deviation from normal schedules with school performances and parties with friends. It is best to check that you are free on the day you plan to visit the nursing home. Next, check the nursing home schedule to see when they have visiting hours. If you are unable make your trip during regular hours of visitation, contact an administrator to arrange for a different time for your visit. Ask for the daytime schedule so that your visit will not interfere with meal times or medication distribution.
Prepare Your Children for the Visit
If your children will be coming with you, speak with them beforehand about your loved one’s medical condition and the condition of other residents they may encounter. Explain that some patients may be in wheelchairs or unresponsive. If they are small, pack toys, activity books, snacks, and drinks, if necessary. Do not forget to bring something to record your visit with your loved one. Photos can be shared with others who cannot visit the nursing home, and a video of your loved one recounting family stories is a priceless memory.
Your Loved One’s Care
Before your visit, call and ask if there are any items your loved one requires for personal hygiene or care, or a needed article of clothing that you could bring with you. When you are in the nursing home, pay attention to your surroundings. Does the staff appear overworked and unhappy? Is the home clean and well run? Is your loved one happy and healthy? Complaints or incidents of unexplained injuries could indicate a problem with personnel at the home that should be thoroughly investigated. Be persistent with questions about care at the home. When it comes to the safety of your loved one, always follow up on any suspicions you may have.
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Nursing homes are notoriously underregulated. If you suspect a problem with the care of your loved one, call the New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC. We can help you determine the best course of legal action and gain justice for your loved one. Call us at 609-786-2540, or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. Our offices are conveniently located in Princeton and Trenton, New Jersey, serving clients throughout the state.