The first few weeks are critical in the adjustment process not only for your family member but for you as well. Although you might feel alone, it helps to remember that you are part of a team that includes the geriatric facility’s staff, Jewish Family Services and your own synagogue. Communication is the key.
The following is basic Communication 101 when visiting the geriatric facility:
- Upon arrival, stop in at the nurses’s station, if there is one for your family member’s level of care. A simple greeting and question as to how your loved one is doing will let the staff know that you are there. Remember, you are a visitor in their facility.
- Never give over the counter medications to your family member without first checking with the nursing staff.
- If you bring food to your family member, let the staff know. They monitor what she eats.
- Notify the staff when you take your loved one off the unit and upon your return.
- Never give food or liquids to another resident without first checking with staff.
Get to know the “chain of command”. In case of a problem, with whom do you speak first, then second if it is not resolved, and so on. Get acquainted with the other staff, such as the activities personnel, the social worker, the housecleaning personnel; anyone who impacts your family member’s life is important.
Thank the staff for taking good care of your loved one. If you can bring baked goods to them, then do so if you can. Little acts of kindness make a big difference.
Remember, the team is strong as long as it is communicates well; be a positive contributor through Communication 101.