An eldercare facility generally includes two types of residents—those who are receiving short-term rehabilitation to recover from an injury or illness, and those with multiple medical, cognitive, or emotional problems or illnesses who are receiving long-term care. At Virgil you will find both of these types of residents, and a large, skilled staff working to help them live happier, fuller lives.
Whenever possible, the short-term resident is sent home. In some cases they resume their lives and continue their recovery. In other cases, they may experience a relapse or another health issue and be readmitted.
However, an eldercare facility is not a hospital. An eldercare facility provides care to residents through nurses and nursing assistants. The care is augmented by contact with the resident’s physician. But an eldercare facility does not usually have an on-site physician or the sophisticated medical equipment found in a hospital.
Aging inevitably brings on physical, mental and emotional challenges for the people who are aging as well as the friends and family caring for them. Hearing and vision are almost always affected to some degree, and even a mild infection can have a serious impact on a resident’s fragile state of health. Many mental changes are a normal part of the aging process, including decreased memory and slower thinking. Pain from a joint or muscle problem also becomes more frequent. Fear and apprehension about these changes can be reduced by open, honest conversation. And the support of family or friends is very important in several ways:
Upon admission to an eldercare facility, a resident might feel disoriented and anxious over the new environment. Moving at any age is difficult, and sometimes a move to an eldercare facility may have overtones of finality or at least semi-permanence. Very few family members admit their loved ones to an eldercare facility without experiencing feelings of guilt—even if caring for that loved one at home has become an overwhelming task. This stage of life is filled with conflicting emotions, and guilt is a natural part of that. One way to deal with any guilty feelings is to stay involved through regular visits, by getting to know the staff and by acting as an advocate for your loved one.