Obviously, there's no better way to monitor the care of your loved one
then to visit them at the nursing home on a consistent, frequent
basis. Your consistent presence communicates that "I care about my
loved one and won't be shy about advocating for them". If you can’t
visit you should at least call the nurses station and make sure that
your parent or loved one is doing "OK". Also, if your parent or loved
one is having a tough day, has a cold, or any change in condition, you
should probably call between visits.
relations with nursing home staff members.
Form relationships with the people who are actually caring for your
parent and thank them for their work. Get to know them. Remember
them at Christmas and other special days. Small gifts such as a small
plant or box of candy may be appreciated, although you need to check
with the administration before giving gifts.
relationships with other resident family members.
Family members of other residents can be additional eyes and ears
informing one another if something doesn't seem to be right.
Take your family
member’s complaints seriously but validate them when you have the
For example, if your mother complains that nursing home staff
take too long to respond to her call light, time it yourself. Also,
if you see a call light on in another room you may time that response
as well. And then ask your mother if this problem occurs all of the
time or just at certain times such as certain shifts, or when certain
nursing assistants are on duty. If she complains about the quality of
the food, you may randomly check the appearance, taste and temperature
of several meals at different times over a period of several weeks.
Understand that complaints may be your loved
one’s attempt to regain some sense of control in the face of their
You should look
for ways to restore some sense of control. Some nursing homes allow
the residents to do volunteer work such as delivering mail to the
other residents, visiting more impaired residents, or distributing
materials during activities. Some residents may enjoy making crafts
or crocheting for other residence. Having a plant or bird to care
for, and being able to make choices about their own activities may