Should you bring your loved one home for the holidays?

If you have a parent or other loved one in a nursing home or other residential care facility, you want to make sure they are part of your family’s holiday celebrations. However, as much as you may want to bring them home for a few days, that may not be the best thing for them.

Before you make any decisions or even present the idea to them, check with their doctors and caregivers to see what concerns they have about your loved one leaving the facility. For example:

  • If they have dementia or other cognitive issues, will the change in scenery and people upset and confuse them?
  • Do they need regular care, medications and help with things like bathing and getting to the bathroom that you’ll be able to provide?
  • Are they on a special diet you need to adhere to? This may require keeping goodies out of their reach and not being able to enjoy them in front of your loved one.

It’s also important to make sure that your home can accommodate them. Are there stairs outside and/or inside? If your solution is to keep them in a room on the first floor alone, that might leave them feeling isolated and resentful.

Find out what your loved one would like to do

If you and your family are able and willing to take this on, ask your loved one what they would like. If they can make an informed decision, it should be up to them. If they want to spend time with the family – whether it’s a day out or a few days – notify the facility as soon as possible.

Most care facilities make things as celebratory and cheery as possible. Likely, they’ll let you bring decorations and family holiday mementos for your loved one to have in their room. You can join them for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner or a menorah lighting in their community.

Be aware of possible staffing shortages

One of the biggest problems many senior care facilities face is a lack of qualified staff. This situation can get worse over the holidays. If your loved one is staying put, make sure they have enough experienced people to adequately care for them.

Any time of year, if your loved one suffers harm because they’ve been neglected, you may need to find out what your legal options are.

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