As December bustles in, many folks are planning a gathering for family, friends, and other loved ones, to celebrate the season. There are certain traditions throughout the year, that become an integral part of how we anticipate the festivities will unfold.
Think about your heritage and special occasions.
Where do you congregate?
Why do you choose that place in particular?
Over Thanksgiving, we hosted what my family affectionately refers to as a "straggler’s dinner". The premise was that family and friends who were looking for a place to go for a meal, as well as fellowship, and festivities, could show up, and be a part of the extended family. It was chaotic in a joyful kind of way, and none of us would change that for the world.
Now that there are visions of turkeys dancing in your heads, (somehow not as poetic as sugar plums), think about an aging senior, and choosing a family friendly, Long-Term Care home.
As you tour the residence, consider the level of family friendliness each place has to offer.
- Is this a place where there is space to welcome family, and friends?
- If there is a common room, is there a cost to utilize it?
- Are there dens or small gathering areas suitable for visits outside of a resident’s room?
- Does the home offer the option to purchase a meal, should a well-wisher drop by (with/without notice)?
- Can you buy a meal on holidays, so as to enjoy a shared, special occasion?
- Are there family friendly holiday celebrations, embracing cultural traditions, and individuality?
Think about the space and it’s configuration. Are there areas without a television, nooks where a comfortable visit can take place?
Is the space clean, and well kept?
Is there a communal computer and Internet for the cyber senior who wants to read and send emails, and travel to exotic places via an armchair?
Is there access to board games, cards, and books to share?
May a family member partake in a recreation program that is geared to the holidays: baking, excursions etc.?
At some point during residence in LTC, it may not be possible to bring an elder home for holidays or a family meal, especially if their physical care exceeds your capabilities.
When conducting the tour, take note if there is evidence of families visiting with a loved one, and most importantly, how their presence is accepted by staff.Are families welcomed and encouraged to take part in home’s activities as part of the extended family circle?
Is there active engagement, chatter, and banter, between staff, residents and families?
Is there an isolated sense that the presence of outsiders has contributed to the staff workload?
One thing is for certain, as we age, and families grow and evolve, some traditions will change, others will be adapted, and new ones will be established.
For an individual living in a Long-Term Care home, there are numerous adaptations and adjustments that are also required. Think about the aspect of socialization, and family friendliness when scoping out prospective residences. Although a Resident room may be a comfortable visiting option, entertaining beyond four bedroom walls is a welcome relief...and more traditional.Utilize our checklists to help you asses the level of family friendliness. Although this may not be the old homestead, this is still a forever home for someone you care about.
For a complete explanation about the rationale behind each item in the checklists, visit our web site www.elderpilot.com to access our resource guides. This information is now available exclusively through our web site.