Regardlless of age, stature, or place in life – change can be uncomfortable. As we get older, major changes in our life tend to be even more difficult to deal with. As we age, we tend to become less flexible and more attached to the familiar routines in our environment, as these familiar items become a source of comfort and calm. A major life event such as making the move into residential care can be a great emotional challenge for senior adults and their families. Because of this, it is important to plan ahead and work through the best way to make a smooth transition.
There are several things that can be done to help to make a smooth transition for your loved ones, and they start with doing your homework. Care providers can vary greatly, so it is important to get to know what aspects of care are important to you and your family and make sure that these key points are communicated to the facility and carers.
To help with the idea of going into a care facility, talk to your loved one about the decision. Shielding them from it will only make them feel as though you are making the decision for them. It is important that they feel involved in the change. Be open to as many discussions as they may need – and focus on the positives such as them no longer having to maintain a home, shovel snow, and other stressful situations that a seniors home will take care of for them.
Understand that emotions may run high during these big changes. Be sensitive and be there for support. It may be reassuring to help prepare the room to how they would like it before the move, to make the stress of moving less on your loved one. Creating a familiar and homelike environment is encouraged and will help with the transition.
Lastly, don’t forget to stay connected. After the move, you may feel less stress with no longer having to worry about your loved one’s health – but, make sure you stay connecting by visiting, calling, and checking in whenever you can. If you cannot check in for some time, ask a staff member to spend some extra time with your loved one to ensure they won’t be lonely.
By thinking ahead, and following the advice above, your loved one can make a smooth transition into residential care. Though the move may be daunting, they will come to understand the importance of the decision and how it can better their life and comfort.