Moving into a care facility is a considerable change in the life of your loved one and you. There are often mixed emotions at the time, both positive and negative. But there are things that you can do to make the transition a little easier on everyone and help them to settle into their new routine as efficiently as possible.
Selecting the right care facility
The perception of care facilities can be very outdated. The standard is much higher, and many of them are designed around a more retirement community feel. If you’re worried about standards of care, check with an organization such as nursinghomelawcenter.org to see if there are any red flags for your selection first.
Spend time at the facility and get a real sense of what day-to-day life will be like, the standard of medical care, and the facilities on offer.
Choosing a facility is often a combination of budget, location, and care needs.
Create a welcome environmment
An essential step to adjusting to life in a care facility is making it feel like home. Spend time decorating it with personal items, photos, and furniture. Set up a TV and computer (whatever they are used to). Change the decoration from time to time by putting up Christmas decorations or other holiday items.
Spend time with them there. For example, go over and watch the game or the latest episode of a TV show that you both watch. The idea is to normalize the time you spend there.
Don’t dismiss their concerns
Adjusting to a new environment can be challenging. So if your loved one mentions something they’re unsure about or are unhappy with, don’t just brush it aside; take the time to see if there’s something you can do to help them.
If they are having a problem with their treatment or staff members, then you have to be their advocate so that they don’t feel isolated or helpless.
Visit as often as you can
In most cases, you’ll be seeing them less often unless they’ve moved to a facility closer to your home. This can feel like a lonely experience, especially at first. Visit them as often as you can and try to stick to a schedule.
Encourage other family members and friends to visit, too, if possible.
Give it time
Transitioning to a care home can be very difficult for your relative. They may be feeling scared or even abandoned if the decision to move was not theirs. It can take a while for these feelings to subside. The staff at the care home will have a lot of experience dealing with this and will do their best to help them settle in as quickly as possible.
Providing support and encouragement to someone moving into full-time care is vital. Now that professionals meet their medical needs, you can focus on helping them settle in and support them by visiting, communicating with staff, and making their room as homely as possible.