Get yourself a simple spiral notebook with many pages. Into this make notes of each visit inside the Nursing Home.
Notice staff people who are on duty, their names (if they are or are not wearing a name tag is important). What they are doing, who they are talking with. The names of other visitors and the date. What may not seem very important, is very, very important, and my hope is you never have to find out how important.
Know as much as is possible to learn, to know, about your area’s department of human Services, the agencies for the aged, and the congressional representatives in your area who work and consider all matters related to nursing homes and their day to day operations.
If at all possible, meet with these folks and become closely involved with these policy makers.
Know who makes up the Board of Directors, the Ombudsman, custodians, doctors and nursing staff. Know all you can about their mailing addresses, phone numbers, and Facebook page.
Be confident and assured: from the first moment a loved one becomes a ‘resident’ the Nursing Home caretakers will note, and document, sometimes called ‘Charting’,
E V E R Y T H I N G,
and I mean everything about your beloved, now,their ‘charge’,their responsibility, and this includes you, and anyone else who visits, the whens and attitudes, and conversational tone of these ‘visits’.
This ‘journal’ will become your future self’s friend and an excellent ‘paper memory’ when your memory is burdened with care and anxiety. The events of the days may become muddled, a forgetting of who was where and who said what may be frequent and frustrating.
And your comforter. A handwritten reminder of efforts and ideas and concerns.