Change is rarely easy for anyone, no matter what the circumstances. Change signals the end of a situation or a stage of life and the process can be filled with uncertainty. Even a young person going off to college for the first time can find changes difficult to navigate, so it makes sense that as we age and become more set in our ways, accepting major change becomes a significant challenge.
If you and your loved one are at the point where you’re considering long term care, you’re probably feeling an overwhelming range of conflicting emotions. The person entering a care center is likely struggling with letting go of the life they have known and fearful about the unknowns ahead of them. Family and loved ones may realize that long term care is the best option, but can be filled with guilt and trepidation at the same time.
The transition into long term care is one that should be handled with compassion and respect, for everyone involved. Here are a few tips for making the transition into long term care less stressful.
Begin the Conversations Early
Not everyone has the benefit of easing into the idea of long term care. However, for those that do, beginning the conversation as early as possible gives everyone time to prepare, both emotionally and on a practical level.
For caregivers, thinking ahead gives them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with care center options, interview each of them and grow to feel comfortable with the choice that is made. This also gives you the chance to explore more practical matters like cost, insurance coverage and coordination of care.
For the person entering long term care, talking about it early gives them the chance to let the idea sink in, discuss their fears or concerns, and come to terms with this major transitional point in their lives.
Patience and Compassion
Recognize that your loved one may be very resistant and that this is completely normal. Reacting with frustration is only likely to escalate the situation. If your loved one is of sound mind, they deserve to have a say in their care.
It’s important to stress that your primary concerns are about their safety and level of care that is provided to them on a daily basis. It’s wise to get other people, such as doctors, therapists, etc., on board to discuss the advantages with them.
When moving day arrives, do whatever you can to make your loved one’s new residence feel warm and inviting. If the care center allows it, decorate with a few of touches of home. Consider having a “housewarming” party and invite a few close friends and family to celebrate the transition.
Once your loved one is settled in, ensure they have companionship during the early stages of transition. Arrange to have someone visit them daily, go for walks with them and enjoy meals together. Helping your loved one see that life can carry on in a way they enjoy will help them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.
If you’re considering long term care for a loved one, we’re here to help. We offer a peaceful, modern environment with a focus on exceptional care. Contact Princeton Health Care Center and let us help ease the transition into long term care for you and your family.