Building Relationships with Nursing Home Staff

Advocacy for your loved one does not just mean complaining about things that you are uncomfortable with at the nursing home.  For sure, that’s part of it.  But building relationships with nursing home staff and, ideally, building friendly relationships will help you when you need assistance and support for your loved one.

  • Introduce yourself when you first start to interact with the nursing home, introduce yourself to staff, tell them you will be actively engaged with your loved one’s well-being and happiness, and ensure they know you understand you both want the same thing: great care for your loved one.
  • Get to know staff by name.
  • Compliment nursing home staff when you are pleased about the care your loved one is getting. (Don’t only engage with them when you have a complaint.)
  • Whenever you visit your loved one, ask the staff how they themselves are doing. Working at a nursing home is tough work and staff appreciates when family members and friends appreciate that.
  • Give key staff a holiday card or holiday cookies for the entire unit.

You can probably think of many other things to do to build friendly relationships with nursing home staff.  Just remembering staff are human too, and have a very tough job, is step one.  A good relationship with staff is helpful to a good nursing home experience for your loved one and you.

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