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 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.
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)
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.
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:
¹ Source: Census 2011