How to Get Over Feelings That Prevent You from Visiting Someone in Assisted Living or a Nursing Home
(Note to readers: I apologize. There was a bad link in this post when it went out in the newsletter so I'm reposting this. Thanks for your patience!)
People cite numerous reasons why they hate visiting nursing homes. Some can’t stand funky smells, others find the sight of disengaged, listless seniors depressing, and most feel guilty over the fact that they’d rather spend time anywhere else. The truth is that most of us experience some level of discomfort over the thought of visiting a skilled nursing facility. This aversion is very similar to the widespread dislike of hospitals. These are places where people go when they are very ill and require a high level of care. For families who have loved ones living in nursing homes, this discomfort can often get in the way of providing proper support. However, nursing home residents are most in need of regular companionship, support, and advocacy. If you’re struggling to establish and stick to a visiting schedule with a loved one in a skilled nursing facility, it’s important to identify what’s holding you back so you can find ways to move past it.
Reasons Why People Avoid Nursing Home Visits: Unpleasant Smells
Let’s tackle the smell issue first since I’ve even heard this excuse from people who have never darkened the door of a nursing home or assisted living. Incontinence is an unfortunate part of aging and various illnesses, but in a quality care setting, unpleasant odors should be fleeting. Accidents happen, especially with seniors who require the highest level of long-term care available. A good skilled nursing facility should handle incontinence incidents quickly and thoroughly. If any senior living setting consistently smells of human waste, or even cleaning products, this could be a clue that there are staffing or procedural issues. For example...
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