Helping a Loved One Transition to a Care Facility
Moving is thought to be one of the most stressful events in life, ranking right up with divorce and death of a loved one. When the scenario is moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home, the stress level is heightened. The anxiety comes from a few different factors. A senior moving into a care facility is dealing with the loss of a certain amount of independence. The family and friends of the senior are also having to face the aging and decline in the health of a loved one. There are some strategies to put in place that can help everyone cope with the move of a loved one to a care facility.
Careful planning can help alleviate some of the stress. Creating a timeline that provides plenty of time for organizing personal items is important. The senior may have a lifetime of mementos to sort, and they will need time to determine which items to keep. Schedule extra time to avoid any feelings of being overwhelmed by the tasks.
It is also important to focus on the positive aspects of the move. Talk about the opportunity to meet new people and to participate in on-site activities. Emphasize the safety and ease of having staff always available for assistance.
The most important part about the move is for the senior to still feel like a part of the family and their social circle. This happens by scheduling regular visits to the facility. Give the senior an opportunity to hear the family news and share pictures from events they cannot attend. During the transition time, regular visits are critical. Without social calls, a resident will feel they have been abandoned by loved ones. A single visit to a senior in a care facility can brighten their day, but scheduling regular visits is most beneficial. The social safety net of consistent visits allows the senior the gift of time during their transition. Without feelings of loneliness and abandonment, they will have an easier time of making friends within the facility. For the resident, a regular schedule of visits provides something to look forward to. It also gives the resident the assurance that they are still important enough to be included in plans with loved ones.
For those who do not have loved ones nearby for visitation, OurSeniors.org was established to help provide the important social visits for residents of facilities. Volunteer or donate to help correct this problem that can so easily be resolved.