Planning & Advice | Gardner Rehabilitation
Trusting someone with your loved one is never easy. As
much as we all wish we could watch over each other
indefinitely, the difficult truth is there are
situations where advanced care and protection are
needed. Every case is unique, because each person is
different. So many things need to be taken into account.
Dietary needs, feeding times, exercise routines,
therapeutic practices, sleep habits and more are
combined with medical direction to form a one-of-a-kind
care plan for any person aging or requiring around the
clock care. How do you find help taking care of someone
that means so much to you, if nobody knows them like you
do? We hope to be able to answer that when you come to
visit the Legend Rehab.
But that’s not the only question you need answers to.
There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself
and a potential care partner in order to understand your
situation, find the right place and create a care plan.
1. When is the right time to find a care facility?
Almost any airline’s preflight warning reminds us that
we have to care for ourselves in order to care for
someone else. Everyone needs sleep, peace of mind and a
reduced stress level to function properly. Tired,
stressed out people make mistakes, and mistakes can be
incredibly costly. If you find yourself in a situation
where turning away for a moment could lead to drastic
consequences, you need help. The goal must always be to
maintain the dignity of the person requiring care. As
difficult as it is to realize, there are times where
that means you may not be the best person to be caring
What do your senses tell you?
When you visit a potential facility, you really have to
explore, use your senses and capture as much information
as you can. Right now, you may be the only person
responsible for the well-being and comfort of a very
important human being. That means you’ll want to:
• Visually inspect the facilities; You are looking for
cleanliness, layout, spatial planning, etc. Equipments
shouldn’t be stacked messily or difficult to get to or
use during an emergency. In addition, proof that needs are not being met,
overworked staff, poor communication patterns between
staff or between staff and patients. See that common
areas are clean, that some care has been taken to create
a welcoming environment. No facility can duplicate
anyone’s home in particular, but if it looks imposing,
medicinal or too much like a hospital, your loved one
won’t be comfortable there.
• Listen to conversations, background noise, and other
patients; If you hear road traffic, constant beeping,
humming or facility-related noises constantly, it will
be difficult for anyone to feel comfortable long-term.
• Check for constant, odd odors or strong scents;
Although our sense of smell can diminish with age, it
may be a vital tool for you to detect a potential issue
in a facility. Fresh, clean air is vital to comfort,
healing and peace of mind. Due to the nature of the
facility, some scents are unavoidable. However, briefly
smelling something unpleasant is different from a
constant mildew or plumbing issue.
• Taste the food; As people age, they may begin lacking
sensory abilities, and healthy, regular eating is vital
to care. This is one of the most challenging aspects of
providing good care, for a number of reasons. Dining at
nursing facilities often requires meeting particular
dietary codes. Chances are residents will notice a
difference between facility food and the dish they used
to order at their favorite restaurant. That being said,
if you can’t stomach the food served on a regular basis,
why would you want to subject your loved one to that?
The food should be both nutritious and tasty, or your
loved one won’t want to stay.
What is there to do?
Boredom is torture. Your loved one deserves to be in a
place where people interact and enjoy social activities
to the extent that they can. Look for involvement in a
common area, planned classes or fun events. Check for
the availability of communication methods, reading
materials and places to relax, alone or in a group. This
is their new home. It should not resemble or operate as
What if there’s an emergency?
If your loved one is facing a medical, physical or
psychological challenge, you’ll want to know the chain
of events that begins when something happens. That means
if there’s a fall, a dangerous situation or a repetitive
minor injury, your loved one should be cared for,
checked again later for any injury that wasn’t
immediately visible and have information shared between
shifts, as well as between the facility and you. Having
a designated person or role that provides a central
contact point is vital to your peace of mind. If you
ever feel that your loved one wasn’t given the
appropriate care, you should have the ability to share
that information with someone who can make a difference.
That means you should be aware of and have access to the
complete chain of command. Even in the best facilities,
accidents happen. How they handle those events is what
defines a safe, nurturing place for your loved one,
versus someplace that will add to problems, rather than