After you get the description of services in writing, be sure it allows for your participation in quarterly meetings for care planning so you can be updated about your parent's care and give input on physical therapy care, occupational therapy care, medications, and more.
If you cannot make the meeting because of your work schedule or you live in another city or state – call in.
It's extremely important that the nursing home offer you this service and more importantly that you actively participate in the process. If you skip this opportunity, you send the message that you don't care.
Why physical therapy? Physical therapy improves the quality of lives in a nursing home environment. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are used to treat patients suffering from illness, disease, or injury. Physical therapy or PT can improve mobility, strength, flexibility, coordination, endurance, and even reduce pain. The goal of physical therapy is to restore, maintain, or promote optimal physical function.
Elderly nursing home residents should receive physical therapy from skilled physical therapists in order to ensure that dangerous accidents or injuries don't occur.
What is occupational therapy? In a skilled nursing facility, occupational therapists tailor their approach to each patient by helping residents develop skills for activities of daily living—self-care tasks such as feeding or dressing. Occupational therapists modify the patient's environment to increase independence and facilitate participation in the nursing home's activities.
Medication administering in a nursing home setting requires pharmaceutical and administrative due diligence.
Overdosing, under-dosing, following a strict schedule of dosing depends on skilled staff and no shortage of staff. Keeping scheduled drugs secure and properly dispensed requires careful monitoring and record keeping. Are you provided a list of your parent's drugs? Are you notified if medications make your parent nauseous, dizzy, or have serious side effects? Are you notified if medications have been recalled? Are you notified if medications have been increased, decreased, changed, or discontinued?
Other concerns you as the patient's adult child may want to have input is in their meals – Is your parent getting enough nutrition? Is a registered dietician overseeing each patient's needs? Can the doctor prescribe a special diet? What if my parent doesn't eat red meat or pork products, can he or she be accommodated? Are the meals served in an appetizing manner with hot foods hot and cold foods cold?
You as adult child or guardian of a nursing home patient have the right to ask these questions and more, and participate in the care that your parent receives.