Saturday, January 11, 2014

Placement, write about your loved one for the staff

Something I hear all the time when talking about placing a love one is the family is worried that the facility won't know who their loved one is.

They want to make sure Daddy has his special blanket he has grown to love over the years.

They want to know that Grandma is left sitting in front of the window, she loves to look out the window. They need to know your wife does not like activities of any kind. And on and on.

There is a simple solution to all of this. All one needs to do, and everyone should do this when placing someone is to write down who your love one is, and most important was.

Trust me when I tell you, the people who work in these facilities are busy enough that they are not going to just remember that Mom needs to have a warm glass of milk before she goes to bed.

Mom may not touch it, but it has to be there. They may not know that Dad always has to sit at the table with his back to a wall.

Or that your loved one is deathly afraid of showers. Write it down. Tell them a story if you will.

Everyone who is placed should have a folder that goes with them everywhere they go. To the doctors appointments, to the hospital if need be, and even in the room for visitors to glance through.

If your loved one loves company, tell them. If they love company but don't engage in conversation, tell them.

This is not rocket science, but few to none family members do this. They assume the facility will know cause this is what they do. They won't and the truth be told, they don't have the time to figure out who likes what and who hates what.

List their fears. List the foods they like, the foods they hate. List the things they are allergic to. Sure this will in their chart, but put in your folder you are making for them as well.

Not only tell them. But make a list of things that your loved one does. Who they were before dementia came into their lives. If my caregiver some day in a facility knows I was in EMS and law enforcement that is a subject they can bring up every time they are around me.

Will it help? No one knows, but I do know this, it can't hurt...