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Communicating with Your Loved One’s Assisted Living Facility and Staff

If your loved one is living in an assisted living or nursing home community, it’s important that you to stay involved by acting as their advocate. You will need to be their voice if your loved one has difficulty communicating due to memory loss or is simply uncomfortable expressing their personal needs, desires and concerns. Your ongoing communications will allow caregivers to know your loved one better and to understand what’s working, or not working in the happiness and care of your loved one.

Here are some tips to help you enhance your loved one’s assisted living lifestyle:

  • Let the staff know about your loved one’s likes and dislikes.
  • Let them know what your loved one prefers to be called.
  • Let them know what they like to eat and drink.
  • Share your loved one’s special interests or hobbies.
  • Discuss your loved one’s normal routine.
  • Share your loved one’s history and personal achievements.
  • Let the staff know you would like to be notified about any changes in your loved one’s behavior or care.
  • Ask for regular meetings with caregivers to discuss care plans and ideas to enhance their lifestyle.
  • Ask the staff how you can help.
  • Be respectful of the staff and let them know that you appreciate all they do.

Communication techniques for advocating for your loved one:

  • Talk with caregivers each time you visit.
  • Put serious concerns in writing: If a serious issue arises, you should communicate with your loved one’s care facility by letter. This will document you concern and show you mean business.
  • Send Email for Urgent Issues: Sending an email to your loved one’s caregiver or administrator can expedite the resolution of urgent issues.
  • Follow Up: No matter how you communicate, it’s important to follow up with the staff to make sure that actions are being taken to resolve the problem. You should also talk to your loved one to see if they notice any changes in their care.
  • Understand the Community’s Policies: Take the time to become familiar with the community’s policies and procedures. Understand that some of your requests might not fall within the scope of the community and that the staff may not be able to comply with your request based on state regulations or the need to ensure the comfort of all residents.

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