ProSpeak

Advocating for Your Nursing Home Loved One during the Pandemic
Jul 6, 2020
Aisha R. Arrington, Long Term Care Ombudsman
ProSpeak

Advocating for the best possible care for your loved one living in a nursing home has it challenges; especially when you are a working professional. However, it may be even more challenging now that COVID-19 has hit many nursing homes hard. There are things you can do to stay in touch with your loved one.

Make sure you are staying in touch with the nursing home to be aware of any new visiting opportunities. While nursing home visits are prohibited right now, there are talks of opening limited visits in an outdoor setting and offering staggered dinning opportunities for families to visit. 

Schedule Zoom check-ins, if available, and make consistent phone calls to speak directly to your loved one. Sending a card with updated family photos is a good way to stay connected and on special occasions consider sending flowers. 

Ask for a care plan meeting to go over any concerns you may have about the care being provided. Care plan meetings can be requested at any time and can be done over the phone. During the meeting, offer suggestions that you think might help your loved one feel more comfortable and remember the nursing home resident has the right to be a part of the care plan meeting! 

Provide activities that can be done alone in their room. Residents in nursing homes are quarantined to their rooms for much of the day and it can get boring. Activities could include books, magazines, adult coloring books, puzzles, word searches and crafting materials. 

The Indiana State Department of Health issued guidelines that require long term care facilities to share: briefings about how the facility is handling issues with care and staff shortages, general updates and the number of residents who have tested positive. Anyone can email familyoutreach@isdh.in.gov with questions.

Although the pandemic has forced a new normal, residents can be taken care of properly and remain connected to their loved ones. 

Long Term Care Ombudsman Program of N.E. Indiana

Phone: (260) 469-3161

Email: ararrington@doingthegood-ombudsman.org

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