Friday, May 8, 2015

Move to a Nursing Home: Staff Support (Research, Video 1:02)

Nursing homes are too often viewed as places of dread. Moving to one to live is sometimes referred to as the worst thing that can happen to a person. The reality is that sometimes nursing homes are an upgrade from a negative situation at home or even the only alternative when no one else is available or willing to provide necessary care. Being an older adult relocated to a nursing home can be quite an undertaking, but nursing home staff members can greatly enhance the transition by the ways they assist in the adjustment.

Research on nurses and personal care assistants can reveal how they provide a layer of comfort to the relocation process. Studies of interviews with residents and their families about transitioning to nursing home living can be very informative. In this research study, individual interviews were conducted with 20 care staff (seven registered nurses, five enrolled nurses and eight personal care assistants) employed at four nursing homes.

Research results identified two major themes:

1)   What’s it like for residents? - This highlighted staffs' awareness of the advantages, disadvantages, and meaning of relocation. It also focused on staffing and nursing care, other services provided, and the environment.

2)   We can make it better. - This revealed suggestions for improving the relocation process, spending time with new residents, and the importance of a person-centered approach to care.

Education of staff on relocation policies and procedures and person-centered care is essential in ensuring that residents and their families are supported in embracing this new home. Understanding the perspective of a primary caregiver who made the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home should also be considered. As this video illustrates, moving to a nursing home can be a very difficult decision. But sometimes a last resort turns into a godsend.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

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