Suppose your parent is in a nursing home or other long-term care facility for mental or physical health purposes. In that case, they can be vulnerable to feelings of isolation, fear and depression. And these emotions can be especially troubling for residents who do not feel like they have someone else watching out for their best interests.
If your parent is in a care facility and you want them to feel more supported, you or someone your parent trusts can take on a formal or informal advocate role.
What advocating for your parent might entail
Whether your role is a legally established one, like guardianship, or an informal part you are taking on, you can help protect your parent in several different ways.
Some of the ways you can help support your parent include:
- Touring facilities with them
- Researching specific facilities and their reviews and reputations
- Talking to administrators regularly
- Meeting the staff members a parent interacts with
- Participating in the care plan development
- Calling or visiting your parent often
- Discussing questions or concerns that arise right away
- Familiarizing yourself with your parent’s medication and care routines
These supportive measures can help protect your parent and shield them from abuse or neglect in a care facility.
How does all this help?
Showing your support for your parent in nursing-home and care-related matters can help protect them in many ways.
First, it sends a message to staff that someone is paying attention and watching out for that person. If no one seems to ask questions or show interest in a patient’s care, some staff members may give that person less attention. Worse, they could mistreat or abuse the patient.
Second, it shows your parent that they are still connected with loved ones even when they live in a care facility. Keeping that connection strong and visible can be crucial for their mental and emotional well-being.
Finally, when you participate in your parent’s care and experience in a nursing home, you can feel more confident knowing they are getting adequate attention and being treated with dignity and respect.