If you do have to surrender to the need for constant care for your parent, that’s no time for sibling rivalry. Siblings must work together to care for a parent so that they continue to feel the bond of love that only family can give and want to live. If there’s discord and strife, parents feel that and it only adds to their feelings of helplessness and powerless predicament.
Get to Know the Staff
When your loved one is in a nursing home during COVID you also have to have a great rapport with the staff. It’s sad but true: Without constant communication and regular visitation, you really have no idea what’s happening within the home and it is a known fact that caregivers attend to the “squeaky wheel.”
No squeak, little service and attention, and your loved one can be sitting for hours in the same disposable undergarment (don’t demean your mom or dad by saying they’re wearing “diapers” either.)
Key an Eye Out For Negligence
Another heartbreaking truth of my story is that my mother died in the same hospital gown she was put in in early January yet she passed on February 10th at the home. I guess they figured because she was in hospice, there was no reason to put soft pajamas on her (my mother’s favorite), so she went unkempt which was hardly an attribute of my beautiful, well-educated, amazing mother. For them, she was less work to have to do.
Stay on Top of Their Medications
Make sure you stay on top of their medications as well. Make note of any changes in emotional behaviors like depression or refusal to eat. Both of these happened to my mom until she was ultimately given a feeding tube against my wishes. They felt it was best so she could receive nourishment. However that just addresses half of the problem.
You must address depression by using every form of technology available. Set up a way for Alexa to answer their phone so you can have regularly scheduled phone calls. Use Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and Google Duo to actually SEE your loved one.
Insist on regular communication with your loved one. Make sure they are eating and drinking and bathing and feeling clean and refreshed. While I have yet to see my mother’s death certificate or know for certain her ultimate cause of death, for me, she died of a broken heart, and now I live with one—and yet, it’s the faith my mother instilled in me as a little girl that “Divine love always has met, and always will meet, every human need,” that gives me the strength to go on. I
That being said, stay prayed up. There is power in prayer and it is my faith that has kept me from losing my mind. Now that I’ve gone through this, I am reminded that my mother lived by the power of the pen, and so, her light shines on as I now use our experience to help you.