I like to make lists.
If I could plan for someone having to get treatment at a nursing home, even short term rehab after a surgery, I would write the following list of things to do / bring to the nursing home:
1. A Power of Attorney – appointing someone to make decisions on my behalf.
2. A Will – even people without assets should decide where their few prize possessions go
3. Family, friends, neighbors and ministers that know to visit frequently – more visitors, the better
4. A list of medications you have been on – and when the nursing home doctor prescribes new ones, call your Primary Care Physician and make sure there isn’t a problem (after all – your PCP has known you for years, the nursing home just met you)
5. Whatever makes you happy – books, music, movies, the daily paper. Bring it. You wouldn’t stay in hotel for 30 days without these things, would you?
6. A calender to help count the days until your loved one gets to go home!
7. Names of home health agencies in case your loved one is able to return home with some daily assistance
Be organized. Be an advocate and be ready to engage in the decisions that are being made at the nursing home.