People who have to leave their homes and families and move into a nursing home experience lots of grief and loss. This article is designed to help the family members and friends to better understand these losses and how they are expressed in words, actions, and/or emotions. During this time of change these people are experiencing one of the most difficult periods of their lives. Not only is it difficult for the person making the move, but also for that person's family and friends. Handling grief and loss also involves the staff and the volunteers working in the nursing home. Frequently people being placed in a nursing home look at it as a one-stop place before dying. This feeling has nothing to do with the quality of care that the nursing home offers, but is just their way of thinking. Such thoughts are very understandable, because few people ever return to a "normal" life after being admitted to a nursing home facility. It represents a one-way street which no one really wants to travel, but people seldom have any choice. Lots of these individuals and their families and friends have little or no help during this very rough time in their life's journey. Their losses and grief seem overwhelming to them. They have nowhere to go for comfort, and quite often no one who will listen to their grief story. This article explains some of the losses that these people experience, their reactions to these losses, and ways that families, friends, volunteers, and staff might be more understanding and helpful to them. Also explored are ways that might help them to heal from some of these many griefs so that they can live the last years of their lives in a more positive way and enjoy life as much as possible. Since each person is so different and unique, there are many ideas and thoughts to explore which may be beneficial in helping them to cope. As you read through this article, you will need to pick out the losses and ideas that are speaking to you or your friend or family member. Since each of us has unique concerns and an individual way of life, we need to choose the suggestions and options that fit each person individually. Reasons for Entering a Nursing Home
There are many reasons why people are faced with the major decision of entering a nursing home. Very few people, if any, enter a nursing home because they want to. Usually there is a factor beyond their control which forces this decision on them and/or their families. The negative feelings and thoughts that arise from the need to enter a nursing home are not necessarily because of the nursing home, but because of the possessions and freedoms that must be given up in order to enter. Also significant is the fact that there are very few people, if any, who are ever able to go back home after entering a nursing home facility. They have just sort of reached a point of no return, and this is hard for anyone to accept. One of the major reasons for entering a nursing home is that the person's health is poor, requiring nursing care that is not available to them at home. Due to unpredictable changes in insurance and hospital policies, many elderly people are forced to leave the hospital after a very short stay but are still in need of care, leading them into a nursing home situation. Home nursing care is not available in every area of the country, and sometimes, even if it is available, people cannot afford it and/or their insurance does not cover it. These situations leave the person with no other choices. Families today are quite mobile and in many cases live in scattered parts of the country. Years ago, many of the family members might be located within a few miles of their original home. When an elderly person needed assistance or care, family members were available locally to help facilitate this care. People would be cared for in the homes of their children, or some of their children would move into the parent's home to be available for care. Today this kind of care is...
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