Once the decision has been made and a long-term care facility has been selected, the transition can be made much easier by taking a few extra steps. Patience, respect and compassion will go a long way in making the move a smooth process.
Talk with staff about suggestions to involve your loved-one in their new community and encourage family members to participate in scheduled activities. Letting the staff know the senior’s habits and interests will help them settle in well and feel a sense of belonging.
Tips to Ease Transition into Long-Term Care
- Visit the new home often before the move. Have lunch and participate in some of the activities; attend a concert or a church service with the senior.
- Walk the hallways from bedroom to common areas several times together. Point out landmarks.
- If the senior is leaving a lifetime home, be respectful in the downsizing process.
- Celebrate a new beginning and keep a positive outlook.
- Bring several cherished items to make the new setting familiar – a picture, lamp, chair and throw can make it feel like home. Bring lots of family photos.
- Bring a stockpile of favorite snacks and drinks
- Consider a small music player or iPod loaded with favourite songs. Music can be a wonderful source of comfort and familiarity.
- Keep a calendar visible with dates marked when family or friends will visit. Write phone numbers clearly and make time to communicate regularly.
- Bring clothes that are in good repair, fit properly and are easy to take on and off. Machine wash only.
- Bring favorite toiletries.
One of the best things family can do for their loved-one in long-term care is to visit. Visiting often and participating in some of the activities will reassure the senior they are not being abandoned.
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