Are you allergic to nursing homes?

Focus now on personalized care and services

Are you allergic to nursing homes?

This seems to be a common phrase for people who have a fear of visiting nursing homes. Some say they can’t stand the smell, or they find it depressing to see disengaged, listless seniors.

This fear can be compared to an aversion to hospitals, where people are very ill.

Things have changed from the way these homes were run a century ago. You may have been listening to negative stories of cold, old folks’ homes, which can be carried on through generations. Or it may boil down to a basic fear you have of getting older, sick or immobile.

You must take the challenge to visit your loved one to see these changes for yourself.

They are now focusing on personalized care and services, creating a more home-like environment and bringing new initiatives to improve residents’ quality of life. They believe, as you do, that seniors deserve to be treated with respect. The staff develop real human connections with the people they are caring for to keep them engaged and in good spirits.

You can overcome your fear, visit them regularly to show them they are loved by their family. Often the sense of touch is missed.

A warm hug from a daughter, son or grandchildren could be the greatest gift you could bring.

For many a nursing home will be their final home. Naturally, we don’t like that feeling and begin to question our own mortality, but death is an inescapable part of life.

Make the choice now to stare your fear in the face by visiting seniors so they can enjoy their remaining time as much as possible.

Plan different ways to brighten their day when you visit. Think of things they’ve always enjoyed. You could play cards, dominos, chess, checkers or do some crafty project.

Maybe you could order a CD of their favourite music and listen to it together or bring along an old family album. Some seniors with significant memory loss will remember a face from their childhood even though they may not be able to recognize the person visiting them.

If you get frustrated or question the value of your visits, remember that you may reside in a long-term care facility one day.

Just do it!

Karla Reinhard lives in Qualicum Beach, where she explores seniors’ issues and personalities in the area. For story tips or questions, she can be reached at

Just Posted

UPDATE: Nanoose Bay residents miffed as roadwork on Northwest Bay Road causing long delays

‘I sat in traffic for a half-hour and moved approximately 50 feet’

Oceanside RCMP officer makes Alexa’s Team

Munro able to stop and process 15 impaired motorists during the past year

Potty Mouth artist creating Funky Fungus

Parksville-Qualicum’s Carmen Lutz has people chuckling with her hand-made, rustic mugs

Qualicum Beach charity hosts fundraiser for Guatemalan students

Aldea Maya has been working in the Central American country since 2012

Parksville Lawn Bowling Club on a roll for artificial turf

Project to cost over $500,000 but will save club money

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Parksville man, 75, goes missing from north Nanaimo home

Police dog services called in to help with search

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Wildfire burning outside of Port Alberni

Coastal Fire Centre on scene

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Most Read