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Three ways to help your grandparents in a nursing facility

Seeing your grandparents in a nursing home isn't easy. Even if the facility is an independent living facility, your grandparents have the right to expect proper care.

Spending time with your grandparents might be hard because you don't feel comfortable in the facility, but your grandmother or grandfather can benefit from you coming by. You also get to build precious memories that you will enjoy later. Consider these three ways to help your grandparents while you are with them.

Talk to your grandparents

Talking to your grandparents is one way to keep them engaged. They will enjoy talking to you about all sorts of different things. Even if they are suffering from dementia or memory loss, these conversations can give them joy. Some ideas about things you can discuss include:

  • Their childhood
  • Favorite activities
  • Books they like
  • Memories of family members
  • Their marriage
  • Funny stories they remember

Now is the time to find out anything you want to know about your family's history. Letting your grandparents know that you are interested in them and your heritage will likely make them very happy.

Keep them involved

Even though your grandparents are in a nursing home, they can still stay involved in your life. Bring pictures to show them what your daily life is like. If possible, take them on outings so they can enjoy time away from the facility. If you have to stay in the facility when you visit, bring new things to enjoy with them. Read a book, watch a movie, bring a craft project or play a game.

Watch for signs of abuse and neglect

Keep an eye open for signs of nursing home abuse and neglect when you spend time with your grandparents. On top of watching for bruising and other types of physical injury, you should also be aware of other signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. Pay attention to how your grandparent interacts with you. When a person seems withdrawn or shy, this can be a sign of early onset dementia -- however, these are also signs of abuse.

Emotionally abused nursing home residents might worry about speaking up for fear of retaliation form the staff. Other signs of abuse and neglect include missing valuables, wearing inappropriate clothing for the environment, having a dirty room, falling frequently and being isolated. Learn your options to put an end to the abuse or neglect your grandparents are dealing with. This might include legal action.

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