Transitioning into a Care Home for your loved one and you
When mom and dad are living at home independently and healthy everyone is at peace. Life changes suddenly when mom is 80 years old has a fall and ends up in a hospital. How about when dad has been having episodes of confusion and forgetfulness and he is diagnosed with early stages of dementia.
Many families deal with this issue every year. This is when residential care home placement can be a valuable option to seniors and their families. Choosing a care home can be only half of the battle. Transition for a senior into residential care home placement can be more challenging than most people think.
Loss of Independence
Remember mom and dad live independently. For most of their life they have been caring for themselves and others. An article in Webmed stated that seniors seemed to be more concerned about the quality of their lives in elder age than death itself. There are alternative resources in helping a senior stay in their homes and live independently such as hiring a private caregiver.
Guilt has had it’s affect on numerous families that I have encountered. Some family members do not want to be around for the day of transition to care home because of that look on their loved one’s face. Some seniors will tell their families immediately “I don’t want to go to a care home, I am going home to my house”. This reminds me of a previous blog I wrote about the sand which generation who are left taking care of their children and their elderly parents.
Dealing with Family Guilt
5 tips in making transition for you and your loved one easier
1. Remember that leaving your loved one home alone as they requested may not be safe for them. Think about how mom or dad originally ended up in the hospital. Chances are they had a fall and no one was there to give immediate help.
2. Does your family member need 24 hour supervision?
This is crucial especially for seniors who suffer from progressive Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Some seniors forget to turn off the stove or may potentially walk out the door and forget how to get home.
3. Can they manage their own medications?
As people get older they require more medications. It is not uncommon for one person to have over 5 medications. Most of the time medications need to be taken at various hours of the day.
4. Incontinence issues
Incontinence is common among seniors. What is sad is that some seniors who live alone end up sitting in a wet diaper all day. This can lead to UTI, painful skin rashes, and depression.
5. Assistance with showering
As easy as it is for most of us to shower every day, in older age this simple task can be difficult and seniors living alone may tend to avoid showering. Poor hygiene can open the door to many unpleasant consequences.
Dealing with Resistance
1. Stay positive mentally and speak positive. Remind your loved one that they will not have to wait long to get assistance.
2. Mention that they no longer have to worry about doing laundry.
3. Talk about how much easier it is for someone else to make their meals then having to think about what to cook.
4. Recall how important it is to take medications on time, and that they will never forget because a caregiver will always be there to remind them.
5. Let them know that their caregiver will also schedule and escort them to doctor’s appointments from now on. The caregiver will be responsible for communicating any new information from doctor’s appointment to seniors and their families.
Care Home operators are experienced in dealing with transitioning seniors from any environment into a care home. They know that there is a transition period for most people and it take some time to acclimate to their new home. Remember to stay positive as you make the decision to transition your loved one into a care home. Sometimes doing what’s best isn’t always easy.