Extra Care In Nursing Homes

Extra care is often needed for Elders living in a Nursing Home and is typically provided by family visiting regularly, multiple times a week, by volunteers, by paid professional caregivers or a combination of all three.  It’s not until you move a Loved One into a Nursing Home that people are shocked to discover that extra care in nursing homes is commonly needed because of the under-staffing.

We work with nursing home staff. We know they work very hard with limited resources and with great devotion to residents. We also know we are a great asset / resource to them as our presence eases their work load. Equally our presence ensures your Parent, Spouse or Friend is well looked after in your absence as we advocate for the client.

All too often the expectations relatives have of Nursing Homes are much higher than what is possible for them to provide. This is due to the underfunding by the Government of Aged Care and therefore low staff to resident ratios. This has recently been compounded by savage funding cuts made to nursing home operators, made without consultation with the industry. Read my recent blog on this which links to industry articles.

We care for people living in their own home and for 25% of people aged 85 years and over, their home is a Nursing Home. ¹

That’s why their family or Enduring Guardian, request that we visit to provide an extra level of attention, service and care to improve their quality of life.

  • Is your Elder losing weight and not eating their meals?
  • Is your Elder not walking enough and losing mobility?
  • Is your Elder being labelled with negative descriptions such as  ‘challenging’, ‘having behaviours of concern’, ‘having behaviours that challenge’, ‘acting up’, ‘acting out’, ‘as a wanderer’ or ‘as a screamer’? Your Elder is probably just trying to express his/her feelings or reacting to the unhappy and stressful situation they are in. Perhaps some ‘one on one’ time is needed where our Caregiver really listens to your Elder. Perhaps a regular outing or visit will make them feel more contented.
  • Is your Elder depressed? We can provide them with a regular outing to look forward to, such as taking them:
  • to visit a dear friend or family member

  • for a walk along the boulevard

  • to their church

  • to attend a good friend’s funeral

  • to a cafe with a view

  • to put their feet in salt water

  • to stroll around a nursery

  • to watch their grandchild play sport

  • to attend a grandchild’s birthday party

Physical and emotional wellbeing

For clients who are not well enough to leave the nursing home, we can massage their hands and assist them with grooming.

We can read the newspaper to them, read favourite poems, book or the bible or sing with them. We can help them to stay in touch with family and friends by writing notes/letters/cards then post for them.

elder home carer music therapy dementia

Music lifts the spirit

We can make sure that when we leave your Loved One has their earphones on and is enjoying their favourite music. Discover how Daughterly Care uses music when caring for our clients.

Are you going on holidays?

Often adult children ask us to visit their parent when they are going away on holidays so that they have the peace of mind knowing their parent is well cared for whilst they are away.

We also advocate for our client’s health, and wellbeing

We ask for their sanitary supplies, clothes and bed linen to be changed if we arrive and find them needing to be changed. This advocacy is even more important when family members cannot make regular visits or the client has no family to visit.

Our most popular booking times for visits to Elders living in Nursing Homes are over  the lunchtime meal so that we can assist your Elder to eat their main meal of the day. Australian Research shows people living in nursing homes are malnourished.

The Prevalence of Malnutrition:

5% – 15% Community dwelling (sic At Home)
30% Hospital patients (Agarwel et al., 2012)
40% – 60% Aged Care Residents in Nursing Homes
(Visvanathan et al., 2004,
Guigoz et al., 2002; Thomas at al., 2002)

elder carer assist walk personal home care

As you can see from the research presented by a Dietitian at the Leading Aged Care Services National Congress in October 2014, the rate of malnutrition among nursing home residents is 2 – 3 times more than people living in their own homes.

Selected Nursing Home Staff Comments from Lasa Congress:-

  • “Breakfast 8am – residents are hungry so eat well”
  • “Lunch 12 noon – Large meal but residents are not hungry after breakfast”
  • “Evening meal- lighter meal e.g. soup and sandwiches and desert. Residents complain of hunger during the night.”
  • “Never enough staff to feed as we would like – meal times are always very busy.”

Assistance Settling into the Nursing Home

Nobody wants to move into a nursing home therefore it would be perfectly normal to expect that your Loved One will experience major losses such as:

  • being with their loved spouse
  • being in their familiar, comfortable, secure home;
  • their familiar lifestyle including being in charge of their life;
  • their garden and neighbours;
  • their familiar belongings collected over a lifetime;
  • the company of a loved pet; and
  • their freedom.

Understandably they are not going to be ‘over the moon’ about their new home and often react by acting out to express their unhappiness or cease eating.

One of the services our Caregivers often provide to clients who we have cared for in their own home is to continue visiting them in the nursing home.

We are a familiar face they can talk through their feelings with. We validate their feelings and give empathy and encourage them to see the positives about where they are.  We assist them to walk to communal areas and introduce them to other residents so that they start the process of making friends. Often this is easier when we lead the way. Regular visits can ensure they don’t feel abandoned and are socially and emotionally supported through such a big change to their life.

It used to be common for Nursing Homes to tell partners or adult children to “stay away for the first 2 weeks” that an Elder is placed into a Nursing Home. This is explained as being easier and giving the person the chance to adjust. This is about breaking the spirit of the person so that they realise they have no choice. This is unnecessarily cruel.

Assisted Walks  

Often residents are put into wheelchairs to move them faster through the nursing home when in fact they can walk slowly.  As part of our service we can take your loved One for a walk through the gardens of the facility…or take them out of the nursing home altogether and take them to nature to feel more connected with life.

End of Life Care  

Some families like our Caregivers to provide extra care when their Loved One is in the End of Life stage of their life. It can be reassuring to know that a Caregiver who has known your Loved One for a few years is there attending to their care and ensuring they are being well cared for and are clean and not in pain. Read more about our Palliative Care and End of Life care.

What clients have said about our services visiting their relatives in Nursing Homes:

13 February 2018 – Appreciative email from daughter of Wahroonga client, on Sydney’s Upper North Shore

Dear Mandy,

Would you pass on my thanks to your Caregiver, Jenny.

It is really is great to have a second pair of eyes and ears on the alert for Mother.  The staff at Wahroonga House are terrific and my brother and I are very fortunate that Mother is there, but Jenny seeing and checking Mum every week is a marvellous bonus. Please do not ever let Jenny think her visits are underrated, I am so, so very grateful for her input to my information.

With many thanks,

Signed Daughter living in Sicily

respite care new south wales nsw
Appreciative letter from the Daughter of a client living in a Nursing Home in Mosman

“Dearest Kim,

I’m writing this quickly when I really should be writing it slowly. There is no way to thank you for what you have done and are doing. You have come into my Mother’s life in her final years, months & days, and forged such a genuine and meaningful, deep and responsive relationship with her.

I see how Mum’s eyes light-up and smiles come when she looks in your direction. You keep finding ways to get under all the changing symptoms [of dementia] and do meaningful things with the real Pamela under it all. I know you see and get her personality too and that you both have fun in your connecting. It’s a really healing and a comforting thing for me to see and be a part of.

Much love and so many blessings and gratitude to you, Kim.

Deb xoxoxo”

Daughterly Care Caregiver Angela The Best Home Care

10 January 2018 – Praise from a Daughter whose Mother was in Nursing Home on Sydney’s Upper North Shore

Dear Mandy,

I have always been so appreciative of Daughterly Care. Mum’s carer, Angela C, has been outstanding and I only have the highest praise for her.

daughterly care carer elder home

27 July 2017 – Praise from a Registered Nurse at a Nursing Home on Sydney’s Upper North Shore

Dear Daughterly Care,
We wanted to thank Kathryn for being so lovely and caring with our resident Mr P. Kathryn, you have a beautiful nature and we love how you also speak with all our residents. We are so happy with Daughterly Care and the excellent service you provide and we are also very glad we have changed care providers.

11/03/2016 Note from one of our Caregivers

I wanted to let you know that I met Rhonda today, Linda’s daughter, and she thanked me for my Progress Notes and advising her about my/ Linda’s concerns/bruises etc.  She said after bringing it to the attention of the nursing home management they are now using a hoist, which the physio said they should have been using all along. She said this has made a huge difference to her mum’s quality of life, and they are taking much more care of her mum which is a big relief to her, being so far away.  (She said without my Progress Notes she would not have been aware of this problem).

Caring for our clients is a joint effort and you (the Daughterly Care Coordinator) were great in your support of my concerns and passing on my Progress Notes immediately to the daughter, so thanks!

Ms A
Daughterly Care Caregiver

“Hi Lynne,

Thanks for passing this on so quickly. I have just read your email and rung the Nursing Home. As you can imagine, I’m not happy and on my way up to see Mum now. Please thank Toni for me. Once again, she is my “eyes and ears” and I appreciate her help with Mum.”

Karen from Lindfield – Pay By The Hour client

Need more information? To know more about us, read why we started Daughterly Care, and take a look at our services. Meet the stars of our business, our in home Caregivers and case managers and operations team.

Read unsolicited feedback from our clients. We’re always thrilled to receive such kind words.

The next step is easy … contact us for a confidential chat about your needs or to organise your, free no obligation consultation email claireg@daughterlycare.com.au or call us on (02) 9970 7333.

¹  Source: Census 2011