As you already know from my last blog, Omar Cain is a CNA extraordinaire! After seeing his video, I just had to talk with him and find out more about him. What I found is a man lucky enough to have found his calling and the desire and ability to share what he knows with others in such a way that they “get” it. In addition to his CNA work, he also trains CNA students and those thinking about the field. I also asked him to share some tips on how the families can best support their parents in a nursing home or assisted living community. Here they are:
1) Visit frequently.
If see the family more, won’t just be sitting around “waiting to die”. Visits give your aging loved one something to look forward to – and something to “show off” to their friends about.
(BTW – I want to add that, although it is ideal that it is the family visiting, that’s not always possible. There are, however, lots of other people who can such as family members of other residents, college kids who are exploring this field, people from their house of worship, social workers, etc. )
2) Bring pictures of family members.
Not only do pictures keep them current as the family grows and help your loved one stay part of the family (especially pictures of the family participating activities) it also gives you something to talk about when visiting.
3) Let the staff know if your aging loved one has a hobby or interests.
The staff is always looking for activities that will get residents to participate so why not what interests your loved one.
4) If possible, try to arrange a periodic home visit.
Of course, this depends on the resident. Some are OK with this, some not. Some residents never want to leave the building, some not even the wing. Others may be thrilled to leave but very resistant to returning to the facility. In either case, taking them out may not be best. But for those that are comfortable going out and happy to return, it’s a huge treat.
5) Visit on the holidays.
Get as many family members together as possible to visit on the holidays. Shows your parent they’re special, allows them to show you off, and allows them to brag about the family (and that their family came to visit).
As Omar says, “I know these sound pretty simple but the littlest things go a long way!”