Supporting Your Loved One in a Nursing Home this Holiday Season
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, there are several ways you can support them during this holiday season. Here are a few tips:
A simple phone call can make a big difference. Take the time to find out how to contact your family member in their long-term care facility, so they know you're thinking of them and that you are looking forward to seeing them during the holiday season.
Visit With Your Loved One
Now that things are starting to get back to normal, enjoy your loved one's company while you can! Visit with them during the week, on the weekend, or over the holidays. A visit shows your family member that you care and also lets the facility and its staff know that your loved one has someone who will be checking in on them.
Make a Special Holiday Treat
If you have special food that you have made or can make or that you know your loved one enjoys, then, by all means, deliver some to your family member at their nursing home.
Noticing Abnormalities When You Visit
When you are able to spend time with your loved one over the holidays, it is also crucial that you lookout for signs of any abnormal behaviors. Many people begin to recognize signs of abuse in their loved one's care facility over the holiday season due to visiting them at higher rates. Here are some signs you can watch out for:
● Isolation. Does your loved one avoid or withdraw from family, friends, or neighbors, and do they refuse to go to doctor appointments, community activities, or events? Isolation could be signs of serious health or mental health problems or elder abuse.
● Lack of affection. Isolation, mental health problems, or some form of mental illness could be indicators that something may be off with your loved one.
● Altered reality. Your loved one's perception of reality may be off or may be altered based on the suggestions of someone else.
● Changes in physical or mental health. This could be the result of physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or self-neglect.
● Poor hygiene. Physical abuse or neglect can result in infections, rashes, or sores.
When We Can Help
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from abuse in a nursing facility, you should contact a skilled nursing home abuse attorney right away. Additionally, if your family member is still in the facility and is in danger of continuing harm, it's important that you take prompt steps to protect them from further abuse—immediately contact Adult Protective Services (APS) and the police. To protect others from similar abuse, it also may be advisable to lodge a complaint with the Virginia Department of Health or the Virginia Department of Social Services.