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Addressing the myth that families abandon loved ones in nursing homes

by | Nov 18, 2022 | Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect

When a family is looking for a place to take care of an elderly loved one, their first worry may be that this decision will leave their loved one feeling abandoned.

Even when an older person lives in a nursing home, there are still many ways that families typically stay engaged. Understanding how the stereotype of elder abandonment is not true can help you think seriously about your options.

Amount of discussions and time together

According to a study by National Nursing Home Surveys, the number of residents in a Detroit nursing home that received one or more visitors in a month was 75%. When accounting for the frequency and length of visits, many residents experience a healthy variety of social interactions. They can get phone calls and in-person visits from family members and spend hours discussing various topics.

When staff members take care of a resident’s physical issues, children of residents are often free to focus on supporting their parents emotionally and socially.

Quality of support

While some people may assume that residents in a home feel ignored or forgotten, in reality, families can take even more time for their loved ones’ needs. Instead of overextending themselves, family members can spend time helping with specific areas of personal grooming, letter writing or emotional support with personal problems. This kind of detailed care is harder for staff members to do.

Visitors can also encourage more social behavior with other residents. The idea that moving an older person to a nursing home means that family members no longer spend large amounts of time with them is a common but harmful myth.