Nursing homes provide safety, assisted living, and round-the-clock care to senior citizens. This allows them to enjoy quality health care without putting a strain on their families. But even with these benefits, senior citizens in nursing homes can suffer depression and live unhappy lives.
Happiness is critical for senior citizens; its absence can significantly affect their physical and mental health. Happy seniors who maintain a positive attitude towards aging are less likely to develop dementia and have a lower mortality rate. They’re also more likely to recover from illnesses.
Meanwhile, you can do several things to keep your senior loved one happy in a nursing home. Here are four of them:
1. Meeting Their Health Care Needs
You can keep your seniors happy by meeting their health care needs in a nursing home. Most seniors in nursing homes have an illness or condition that needs long-term medical care. As such, they’d only be happy if these needs are met by their relatives and staff in the nursing home.
If you have a senior loved one living in a nursing home, checking on them regularly and staying involved in their lives are some of the most effective ways to keep them happy. On the other hand, senior citizens may suffer neglect and nursing home abuse under the care of angry or frustrated staff.
Therefore, you can make your loved ones happy by monitoring them closely and observing their behavior or changes in appearance. Consequently, you can raise any concerns you have about their well-being with nursing home staff, and if nothing improves, take action.
If you suspect abuse, file a report with a state or local investigator. If your senior loved one relies on you to meet their health care needs, it’s important to ensure they receive the best care. To be sure, you can keep an eye on them on a regular basis.
2. Make Their Transition To A Nursing Home Easy
Moving to a nursing home is a stressful step for any senior citizen. The transition can make them feel like they need to care for themselves. As a result, they’re reluctant to leave the comforts of their own homes. You can ease the transition of your senior loved one into a nursing home by explaining how the move will benefit them.
Consider bringing objects like furniture and photos that can add a homely feeling to their room. If your senior citizen has a spouse, check whether the spouse can move to the nursing home with them. Moving into a nursing home with someone close to them, like a spouse, can boost their mood and protect them from mental decline.
Significantly, to deal with this anxiety and make the transition smooth, seniors need help. In addition, seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s may have challenges understanding why they need to move into a nursing home.
3. Encourage Them To Nurture Relationships
Another way to keep senior loved ones happy in a nursing home is to encourage them to nurture relationships. When you visit them, encourage them to build connections. Nursing homes offer senior citizens great opportunities to strengthen existing relationships and tend to new ones.
Meaningful relationships can boost their happiness and improve their health as they prevent physical and mental decline over time. In a nursing home, your senior loved one can interact and build friendships with people in the same age bracket and the staff who care for them.
On the other hand, you can help your senior citizens to stay happy by visiting them often and encouraging them to interact with other seniors during your visit. Also, you can encourage their old friends or neighbors to see them in the nursing home and share any concerns or questions they have with the nursing home staff.
4. Encourage Them To Live Actively
The other thing that can keep seniors happy in nursing homes is living an active lifestyle. They can do this by engaging in activities that keep them in shape, both physically and mentally. Often, nursing homes have activities that all senior citizens, including those with dementia and disability, can engage in throughout the day.
These activities include reading, listening to music, walking, arts and crafts, bingo games, and cat or dog petting. As you help your loved one settle into a nursing home, find out which activities interest them and work with the staff to customize them in order to meet their needs.
As people age, they become vulnerable and in need of care. Nursing homes provide safe spaces for senior citizens to receive care. However, being away from the home environment and family members can take a toll on seniors, costing them their happiness. If you’re taking your senior loved one to a nursing home, doing the above four things can keep them happy.