Nov 23, 2009 11:29AM
By Wendy Sipple
Photo by Dante Fontana
For a great many seniors residing at local nursing homes or like-minded healthcare facilities, life is without regular visits from family or friends.
This void of companionship is a toll-taking reality that affects one’s emotional wellbeing and quality of life. Despite the richness of their experiences and the significant contributions that they’ve made to society, seniors are oftentimes marginalized in American society rather than revered. Thankfully, care comes in all packages, and in South Placer County it is delivered by Nursing Home Nannies.
After attending to the needs of the elderly in both personal residences and senior-orientated healthcare facilities, Vicki Moshofsky and Judy Ludeman established Nursing Home Nannies to provide seniors throughout the greater Sacramento area with what they call “fill-in-the-gaps” services that time-strapped healthcare workers cannot; namely, ongoing companionable care. Among the responsibilities of a visiting nanny is to facilitate familial connections and correspondence, run errands if needed, acknowledge and celebrate special occasions, and provide activities that both enrich and engage their senior comrades.
Why are these efforts vitally important? According to Nursing Home Nannies, to alleviate the loneliness and boredom of a senior client, while providing an overextended family member with a short respite from demanding caregiving duties, secure in the knowledge that the senior they care for is being thoughtfully attended to by someone who is qualified to do so. In combination, these impact-making efforts can lead to marked improvement in the wellbeing of elderly persons, caretakers, staff members, and even nannies.
Families seeking assistance for their loved ones, but wary of doing so because of elder abuse or related concerns, will be reassured to know that volunteer Nursing Home Nannies are carefully interviewed before they are paired with senior clients, ensuring a safe and optimal experience for both parties. Seniors are likewise interviewed to determine their candidacy for the program.
Exchanges between Nannies and their clients are small but significant activities that do a world of emotional and physical good for elderly persons without the benefit of regular companionship. This might include a nanny fostering a loving interaction between a client and a visiting pet, playing board or card games, helping make phone calls and/or send emails, sharing meals, or going on walks.
Unfortunately, many families, neighbors, healthcare facilities or medical professionals are deterred from seeking the services of Nursing Home Nannies for elderly candidates in need due to monetary reasons. These individuals can apply for a scholarship on behalf of a particular senior. The organization also offers scholarships to overextended caregivers. This program is funded by private donations and grants, so those who are able to give are encouraged to do so.
For more information about the services of Nursing Home Nannies, or if you are interested in becoming a nanny or would like to make a monetary donation, visit nursinghomenannies.com or call 916-987-3400.