We can ask questions for a definitive yes or no or as a polite formality – but there are also questions that can help us find out more information. When visiting a loved one in a long-term care facility, chances are that this is an emotional moment for both parties. Oftentimes there is an emotional story behind someone moving to one of these facilities. If you want to make sure that your loved one is being treated right, that you did the “right thing”, there are a few questions that you can ask to get more of an insight into their day-to-day life at the facility.
Question #1 – “Who comes to take care of you?”
As loved ones, this is what we worry about the most – who is taking care of our loved ones, and do they care for them with as much love as we do? You expect a certain level of compassion and caring from the people who take care of our loved ones. Who sees your loved one on a daily basis? Do they have favorites? Are there people they seem uncomfortable talking about? These are all important factors that you can learn from a simple question.
Question #2 – “What medicines are you taking?”
You can also ask how they feel on the medication. This is a two-part question. The first question determines whether your loved one is being treated as an equal party in care management; do they know what they are taking on a daily basis? The second is a way to ensure that there is no medication abuse or medication mismanagement. Remember that not all elder abuse is done out of malice, sometimes it is because people are not sharing information or coordinating with each other.
Question #3 – “Who are your friends here?”
Sometimes, we do not ask questions because we are afraid of the answer. This type of avoidance can lead to us missing chances to improve quality of life. Making friends in a long-term care facility is not impossible. If your parent does not have friends, it may be indicative of the fact that they have not joined in with any activities or they might be suffering from depression.
Question #4 – “The weather was gorgeous yesterday – did you go outside?”
Chances are that you were told about the gardening that residents do when you went on a tour of the facility, but does the promise actually match with the real deal? Find out how often your loved one gets to go outside when the weather permits. Vitamin D can play an important role in overall senior health.
There is a visible, large difference between older adults who are able to get enough exercise and those who do not. If we want our loved ones to be around as long as possible, it is important that they get enough physical activity every day.
These are just a few suggestions of questions that you can use in conversation to gauge whether your loved one is enjoying his or her stay in their long-term care facility.