When considering the nursing home option for parents or other loved ones, here are a few of the main advantages to keep to mind:
Better resources and equipment: Private homes simply don’t have the types of medical equipment and supplies needed to help seniors stay healthy. Many nursing homes are almost as advanced as hospitals in their ability to provide sophisticated care for patients on a 24-hour basis.
High-quality long-term care: Due to modern medicine, seniors now live longer than ever. While we’re thankful for this, longer life-spans often come with longer periods of late-life illness and disability. Caring for a senior relative at home is often a long-term commitment of many years, sometimes requiring intensive care.
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Communication is an important aspect of healthy and independent living. Communication not only involves talking and writing but we also need to listen, watch, sense and read language.
Some seniors experience decreased senses (vision, hearing). Communication aids can make communication easier.
Some communication aids and tips include:
- pens and pencils that are thicker or wrapped in rubber so that it is easier to grasp
- heavier pens and pencils are easier to use for people who have shaky hands
- heavy lined paper and a thick pen tip for those with decreased vision
- a computer as you can increase the font and can print in large thick font
- computers can also have adapted keyboards, mouses, accessible programs (large font, etc) and even voice recognition programs that translate voice into text
- ensure proper lighting
- use a magnifier
- consider a magnifier with a built in light
- page turners
- books and other media in audio format (audio books)
- speech devices that display message on screen
- picture based computer or print based systems
- letter and symbol boards
- voice amplifiers
- hearing aids
- headset amplifiers
- door bell and telephone conversion (light and bell signals)
- amplified telephone
- large buttons and display on phone
- picture based speed dial buttons
- voice operated telephone
- loud ringer and/or light based signal
- teletypewriter (TTY) device for those who are hearing impaired
- large remote control
- large TV screen
- use captioning option on TV
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Recently care homes have been opting for door signs showing their patients names, and with an optional picture, as opposed to the traditional room number. This is due to the fact that residents are helped greatly by having their own name on their door to reassure them they have found their own room. Pictures also aid fellow residents of retirement homes who may be suffering from memory loss and therefore have trouble with names.
Door nameplates - personalised easily
Care homes are increasingly attracted to this option where the resident's name, and perhaps their photograph, can be printed onto a piece of paper which is then inserted into a frame. The frame can then either be screwed or stuck to a patient's door (or secured alongside the door) and the contents updated easily without taking down the frame. Thus residents do not have to remember which exact room is theirs, or which is occupied by any of their friends. This is also valuable for visitors.
A picture alongside the name will also help them if friends' names are forgotten making these frames a perfect option for the dementia sector of the care home industry. It also means that in a setting where either residents and/or staff are temporary, carers and support workers will be able to learn resident's names quickly, or will be able to look up the name as entering their room.
Changed in a snap
A simple name sign is also an economical option price wise as certain products such as an Edge Snap Door Sign are under four Pounds each. This is a small door sign which uses two snap up and down sides at either end to secure information in place under a clear plastic face. Sizes vary from 2in x 6in up to 4in x 12in, with an intermediate size of 4in x 6in known as A6 size. It is a simple yet smart looking answer to discreetly helping a patient with room identification. The larger versions are recommended when a picture is to be incorporated.
The information can be printed in house, with a standard office printer and a small amount of ICT knowledge in applications such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. This is ideal for a nursing home situation as it means that these door signs can be printed quickly, easily and cheaply. When patients are only in on a temporary basis this form of displaying information is convenient as the nursing home can simply remove the paper slip showing the previous patient's information and reprint a new sign with the new patient's information.
Comparing customised door sign options
Certain businesses do offer custom made door signs with a person's name already printed onto this sign, however this is less financially viable in an environment where residents or patients may be changing rooms or leaving regularly. The price of these signs are high, they can retail at over twenty Pounds each and the names in them are not changeable; therefore unlike a product such as an Edge Snap Door Sign, they are not reusable. This could mean throwing away a twenty Pound sign every time a patient left. It may take a while to take delivery of these pre-printed signs and with a patient who is only on a temporary stay they may have left before their sign has arrived.
These customisable door signs are also very useful in more permanent situations where personal nameplates are required on a restricted budget. Amongst the many existing users of this method of signage is the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home to the Chelsea Pensioners who are former members of the British Army, who have purchased Edge Snap door signs from Green Magic Company.