Nursing home visits are great for both residents and their friends and families. Everyone is usually happy to see each other and discuss current world topics, the weather, baseball or food. However, don’t let the smiles distract you from what should be a secondary reason for visiting friends and family members in nursing home–doing a mini inspection.
I’m not talking about getting up on the roof of the nursing home and looking at the quality of the shingles or heading down to the basement to look at the hot water heater. Rather, when visiting don’t be shy about prodding around both the facility itself and on your loved one. Look at the: cleanliness of the facility, look at the food, pay attention to the temperature of the room, look for familiar faces, look at the schedule of activities, chat with the staff–keeping track of all the small parts of your loved one’s environment is the best it can be.
If your family member is bed-bound, pull the sheets back and peek under the robe. Is everything clean? Are their any dry or cracked areas of skin? Is there any unpleasant smell? Does everything look ok? Even the sharpest elderly may lack sensation in areas of their bodies to detect skin irregularities. If something looks wrong– it probably is. Early detection of potentially deadly conditions, such as pressure sores, may save your loved one from pain and embarrassment down the road. You’re not being a pest, you’re being a caring friend or family member looking out for your loved one’s best interest.