The rational parts of our brain do not function optimally when we are under stress. Anxiety and the tiring practicalities of the move can make it hard to take in new information, make decisions, and remember. This while you are also trying to keep your focus on how your loved one is doing. Most residences have some kind of resident handbook which will help you figure out how things work.
At the same time, as you get to know the place, you will begin to figure out the unwritten society—to whom to go for help, who does what and when, who is doing a good job.
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After a while you will be able to assess what the residence really does, versus what it says it does. The hardest part of a first day or days may be when it is time for you to go home and leave your relative in the residence. The staff can help you. It might include having a staff member with your relative or getting them settled at a meal or activity. It will take them a while to learn how to best provide for the care of your relative. You will need patience in the beginning and should be prepared for omissions or mistakes. You may have to give them the same information several times before everyone in the system knows it.
There is not one pattern for adjustment to living in a nursing home or other seniors residence. Many people who move to independent or assisted living love it and ask themselves why they did not do it sooner. For other people, however, adjustment can be a longer process taking three to six months or more.
As a caregiver or family member,your adjustment will mirror that of your relative. Many family members describe it as a rollercoaster. You will not feel comfortable until you see that your loved one is adjusting. Do as much as you can before admission. This might include knowing what clothes and furniture will be moved, looking at papers to be signed, assigning tasks to family members, finding a new doctor, and contacting a mover.
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Consider what help might be available such as a professional downsizer who can even do a complimentary assessment to help you plan for the practicalities of the move. Have a care plan for yourself for the first few days. Remind yourself over and over, things will get easier, less confusing and your anxiety will decrease.
As issues or questions arise, start two lists. Over the span of two decades, author, columnist, consultant and speaker Carol Bradley Bursack cared for a neighbor and six elderly family members. Skilled Nursing Facility. Related Articles. Caregivers Asked. Ask a Question Post Question. Post Question. Independent Living Home Care.
See My Results. I'm a senior care specialist trained to match you with the care option that is best for you. Get personalized guidance from a dedicated local advisor. Get an easy-to-understand breakdown of services and fees. Methodological Consideration In qualitative studies, trustworthiness is established through such concepts as credibility, dependability and transferability [ 34 ]. Implications for Practice Healthcare staff in nursing homes are accustomed to communicating with spouses and adult children about the life situations of patients affected by dementia, but to talk about existential issues can feel strange and awkward.
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Making hard decisions
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When a loved one must enter a nursing home: tips from a top geriatric expert
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