Easing the transition to Elder Care for a loved one can be daunting. Getting old is inevitable. Some elderly people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. This is the progressive decline of cognitive function such as language, behavior, judgement, emotions and our ability to function with complex tasks. Once this disease progresses with an aging loved one, there is often need to assist them in their everyday lives.
However difficult it may be, placing your loved one in an elder care facility may be the best thing that you can do for them. This is especially true if their needs require medical professionals . A few other reasons an elderly loved one may be better off in assisted living are the following:
- Health issues for the elderly person or for other family members – stress and health conditions can take its toll if you’re a caregiver.
- Behavioral changes and adjusting may become a problem. The ill and elderly may tend to be irritable, aggressive, sensitive, and slow. This can test a caregivers patience and understanding.
- In assisted living or nursing home, proper medical care can be provided quickly.
- In your own home, time and work may be compromised. Difficulties arise when you have few or no volunteers to help with an aging loved one while you are away at work.
- However harsh it may sound, during current financial times, many find it difficult to leave their job to care full-time for a loved one.
- Caring for an aging loved one at home, especially suffering from dementia, will be 24/7 and near impossible without support from family or friends.
Before transitioning your aging loved one into an elderly facility, seek advice from your family and the family doctor.
Transitioning is not easy for your aging loved one nor for all in the family; and whatever additional services are needed, should be already accessible or prepared.
Part of the easy transition should include making a list of the needed care before going into the facility such as:
- Daily or routine activities
- Medical needs
- Hobbies or recreational activities
- Visitations from families and friends
- Other special provisions
The change of environment may cause stress to your aging loved one because there will be new faces and different surroundings than they are used to. People suffering from dementia can become easily confused and frightened.
The best way to encourage them to accept this transition is by exposing them gradually into the new home, and to fill their new room with old and familiar items to make them feel comfortable.
Another suggestion might be to have a member of the family stay or visit often as your loved one tries to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings. Having support from a loved one while they adapt to the new surroundings can mean a lot and allows a more easy transition to the new place.
Some elder facilities offer a “buddy system” that would allow a family member to stay there until their resident becomes familiar with their new home.
And other facilities prefer that family postpone any visitation for several days to a week. Sometimes the elder person will adapt to the home more quickly if they don’t have a loved one nearby.
Be Prepared. Chose a home that listens to your feelings. Keep communication easy and open for everyone involved in the transition and the move will go fine.
A few “comforts” to help your loved one ease into Assisted Care
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