SHREVEPORT, La. --- Haven’t you ever wanted a cold drink so badly, but found yourself without your wallet, a long way from home? There are very few pleasures within the walls of a nursing home/long-term care facility. Sure there are activities. Other residents. Lovely staffers. But sometimes you just want a Peanut Butter Cookie!
In a number of hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities in which I’ve stayed, there were frequently vending machines available to residents and staff. For one dollar or less, I was able to purchase a soda, a snack, or even something healthy, like a granola bar.
Some facilities provide transportation for “field trips” to a local super store, or casino. It doesn’t feel nice to not be able to take advantage of those provisions occasionally. It goes quite a way to making “homes” more bearable.
I DO NOT recommend giving cash to residents, as sometimes things do go “missing”. Family members can easily, however, swing by the facility’s business office, and place money into their loved one’s “account”. The patient will sign for the cash, and are generally provided a receipt for the transactions.
There are usually limits as to the amount a resident may take out per day, and when they leave the facility for good, all monies accumulated on their account will be refunded. I have used my account for many purposes, including the in-house hair salon, vending machines, in-house “stores”, food delivery, and other items. Many ladies paid for nail care as well.
One of my friends at my care center was so glad to be able to go on the trip to the big box store, and buy a DVD to watch on the computer in her room. It is an escape on two levels... The trip, and the movie. All she had to do was stop at the window, and make a withdrawal. Civilized.
One may not always be able to control being able to stay at home with family and loved ones. Sometimes we are placed in facilities for the purpose of getting the care that we need. Being in a place, twenty-four hours per day, seldom getting off property, can take its toll emotionally, and physically. The ability to determine, even the smallest of, decisions, lends a comfort to retaining some form of control over one’s life.
Family members with dear ones who are of sound mind, should consider making weekly, or monthly, deposits to the resident’s account. It feels really good to be able to treat one’s self to a cola now and again. If there are no medical, or dietary restrictions on the resident, giving them a small, sufficient, amount of money helps them to feel empowered, and able to participate in the betterment of their time there with the simplest pleasures.
If you have a question about patient care, or advocacy, please contact the editorial office of The Sun in confidence, with your request, and I will do my best to address reader concerns on the topic in future editions.Your identity will not be published, unless you specifically grant us permission to mention your name, and city information. Contact us by calling (318) 631-6222.
About the writer:
Marcinho Savant, a disabled Shreveport/Bossier resident, is a former health care worker in both private-duty, and institutional care environments. He is an author, entertainment executive, and nursing home survivor.
Words: 602 with Boilerplate
Marcinho Savant, a Shreve