Selecting a nursing home for your elderly parent requires you to create a long list of the services that he or she needs and then consult different facilities until you find one that can address each of your points. While things such as fall prevention, on-site physical therapy, and an enticing social calendar are all features that you should look for, eating assistance might also be something that your parent needs. Many elderly people can benefit from a hand at mealtime, and many nursing home facilities offer such a service. Here are some benefits of having a staff member help your parent in this manner.
Less Risk Of Choking
Elderly people who struggle to eat may be at a heightened risk of choking on their food. For example, if your parent lacks the hand dexterity to effectively cut up his or her food into small bites, your parent may simply put larger pieces into his or her mouth. However, this behavior can be risky, and your parent could soon choke on the food, prompting a panic as staff members need to rush to the scene to administer first aid for your loved one. When staff at the nursing home can help residents with eating, there's far less of a risk of choking.
Less Embarrassing Mess
Elderly people who are sharp mentally but struggle in physical areas are often unable to eat on their own without making a mess. Someone in this situation may end up with food on his or her face and clothing after each meal. This can be highly embarrassing, especially if your parent takes pride in his or her physical appearance. Additionally, if your parent will then have to return to his or her room to clean up and change clothing, this can be a hassle and a waste of time. However, messes of this nature are rare when a staff member is helping.
More Enjoyment Of Eating
You want your elderly parent to enjoy as many parts of living in a nursing home as possible, and eating is one of them. Many people get a high degree of enjoyment out of eating, but if it's difficult and messy to eat on one's own, eating can quickly lose its fun factor because of the frustration. When you can ensure that a staff member will help your parent through each meal, you'll feel more confident that he or she is happy.
When searching for skilled nursing homes for your elderly parent, make sure that the home offers the services your parent will need, such as eating assistance.