WHY DOES AN ELDERLY PERSON NEED A NURSING HOME/REHAB FACILITY?

Why do people need to go to nursing home or rehab facility?

  • they need nursing help with bathing, eating, dressing, or walking
  • they have just come out of the hospital and are not ready to go home
  • they are unsafe and can no longer take care of themselves
  • they have dementia and and forget how to take care of themselves

Why do these people need so much assistance?

It may be for a medical condition that they are recovering from, or the nursing facility has the equipment or human assistance they need to recover. It can be that they are recovering from an infection and need medications better delivered at a nursing facility. It maybe that they are just too weak to live independently, or they are frail due to advanced age. The elder with poor vision can have a hard time shaving, dressing, even difficulty eating independently much less shopping for food and meal preparation.

The elder with dementia may not even remember how take care of himself, even how to brush his teeth:

  • he may not remember that he needs to brush his teeth
  • not remember that he hasn’t brushed his teeth
  • not remember what equipment he needs to brush his teeth
  • not remember how to brush his teeth, what to do first and what to do next – the entire process of brushing teeth

How much should you help a person with dementia?

“Why do you make my wife brush her own hair?” a husband asks the nursing assistant. “Isn’t that your job?”

  • the confused elder feels better about themselves if they do as much of their own care as is possible
  • the elder who participate in their own care remain healthier and stronger
  • the job of the nursing staff is to teach the confused elder how to take care of themselves
  • it is the responsibility of everyone in a nursing community to help their patients be as independent as possible
  • always support ability not disability, provide just as much assistance as the person needs

Virginia Garberding RN

Certified in Gerontology and Restorative Nursing

 

6 REASONS THE BEST CAREGIVER TAKES THE TIME TO DEVELOP TRUST

In 1950, Erikson talked about the basic concepts of trust vs mistrust in the development of an infant. This led to the concepts of patients having trust in their nurse, that also implies, someone they can rely on. The person caring for them that they have confidence in for continuous care, the person that they trust, and who gives them hope.

When there is a trusting relationship:

  • the patient is more likely to share information with the caregiver.
  • the patient is going to be more willing to cooperate with treatment.
  • the patient demonstrates that she knows the caregiver has her best interest at heart.
  • the patient who trusts will have decreased negative physical concerns.
  • the patient who trusts will experience fewer behavioral problems.
  • the patient will experience less stress.

This is not a social relationship due to the fact that the focus is always on the patient not the caregiver. The caregiver doesn’t share their personal problems with the patient. But, rather focuses their attention on the patient and the patient’s needs.

Listen, show and tell, to develop trust. Show your concern and respect for the patient. Show concern by being very sensitive to pain, discomfort, hunger and thirst. Show respect by being very sensitive using the patients preferred name, awareness of the patient’s age and to privacy issues. Listen to the patient, and let her know that you are taking her thoughts and ideas seriously. And, tell the patient often that you will be there, reassure that you will take care of her, tell her that you want her to be comfortable and happy. Tell her, that it means a lot to you to be able to take care of her.

When the relationship is well established it can certainly become social as the patient and caregiver bond through activities, shared laughs and experiences. But the first work of the caregiver is to build trust. The caregiver who is either unwilling or unable to put another person first, and develop that trust, will never be that best caregiver.

Virginia Garberding RN

Certified in Gerontology and Restorative Nursing