JAN NOYES: Quality of life matters

Print Article

You never know when a kind word, a held hand, a smile, a few minutes spent listening, or a problem solved will make a difference in the quality of someone’s life … particularly to someone living in a long-term care facility who has few or no visitors, limited activities, is confined to a wheelchair, or spends most of her days dreaming about how life used to be.

It’s mainly the elderly who move into long-term care facilities when disabilities make it unsafe for them to live on their own. Whatever the reason for the move, it isn’t an easy decision to make and it means a big adjustment to a whole new way of life.

Living in an assisted living or nursing facility is not on anyone’s bucket list. It may be the best alternative and a blessing to some, but no one is eager to lose their independence, give up most of their belongings, move in with a group of strangers, and depend on others for often very personal care.

Quality of care matters. Unfortunately, not all facilities give the same level of care. The caregivers work hard and care about the residents, but understaffing is one of the major complaints residents have. Staff doesn’t have time to sit and chat, look at picture albums, reminisce about days gone by, or just listen. Staff is directed to “meet the needs” of the residents, but that may mean a limited amount of time to give to each one.

Residents need to feel confidence in their care. They need to feel that they matter as individuals and that they have some control over their lives. When individual needs or choices are not taken into consideration or when a person’s individuality isn’t validated, a resident may become discouraged, lonely and depressed. Quality of life matters.

Some facility schedules are convenient for the facility but not for the residents. Baths may be scheduled too early, or showers skipped because staff is running late, or the activity schedule is posted but not followed, or menus are not balanced, or food is served lukewarm. Consistency matters. Ombudsmen can made a difference.

Long-Term Care Ombudsmen visit assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, check out the environment, listen to resident concerns, and help solve problems big and small. We make every effort to help solve problems to the resident’s benefit and satisfaction. Our focus is on resident rights, quality of care and quality of life.

Volunteering as an ombudsman is valuable and rewarding, to both the volunteers and the residents of long-term care. If you’re a good communicator, caring, patient and dependable, and want to do something to make a positive difference in a vulnerable elder’s life, consider joining our team as a volunteer ombudsman.

The next training is Sept. 11 to Oct. 22, one day a week for seven weeks, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, please contact Jan Noyes at 208-667-3179 ext. 243, or jnoyes@aaani.org.

• • •

Jan Noyes is the volunteer ombudsman coordinator for the Area Agency on Aging.

Print Article

Read More Lifestyles

MILESTONE ANNOUNCEMENTS

September 16, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press ANNIVERSARIES Jim and Vicki Crowley 50th Anniversary Jim and Vicki Crowley celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Married Sept. 14, 1968, in Coeur d’Alene. They have been blessed with six c...

Comments

Read More

MY GARDEN PATH: What’s blooming now?

September 09, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press It’s hard to believe that our summer is now behind us … sad, but true. Hopefully, we’ll be blessed with a nice long fall. Keep those fingers crossed! Looking around, we can see some of the “autumn b...

Comments

Read More

MILESTONE ANNOUNCEMENTS

September 09, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press MILESTONE BIRTHDAY Eldon Rowan 90th Birthday Eldon Rowan turned 90 years old on Sept. 5, 2018! He celebrated with his wife, Anita; family and old friends on Sept. 1, 2018, at a surprise party....

Comments

Read More

JAN NOYES: Here’s the thing… I’m looking for volunteers

September 02, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press I won’t mince words. I’m looking for more special people who are interested in becoming volunteer ombudsmen …advocates for residents living in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. Let me e...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2018 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X