Coping with the care home transition can be a challenging time for a caregiver or family who has devoted much time providing 24/7 care to a loved one. The void can be overwhelming, and it’s common to ask yourself: “Did I do the right thing or should I have waited?” It takes time to adjust to a move and create your new daily routine.
Once the caregiver gets rest and has the much-needed break for self-care, it is important to remember what led you to making the move in the first place. You are now allowing others to care for your loved one and although you are a partner in care, others will have the responsibility for daily hands-on care.
It is also crucial to have realistic expectations and understand there is no perfect care setting—bearing this in mind will help with your adjustment. Being a good communicator and a solid advocate for your loved one is important, but so is supporting the staff providing care is as well. Although you may be tempted to try to ensure everything is perfect—and you should certainly be aware of how your loved one is doing—be sure to give the care staff the flexibility they need to do their jobs.
Oftentimes, you may observe new behaviors or what appears to be a decline in cognition. But over time, your loved one will adjust… as well you. Your visits may consist of participating in an activity or meal or simply being present. It is important to take cues from your loved one and the staff as to how your visits are affecting the overall transition. Being a ‘hover craft’ (i.e. constantly hovering and micromanaging) is never effective and can frequently prolong a transition period for all parties.
Identify the grief and guilt you are experiencing, as they are two very real and common continuing emotions after a move. Stay focused on being a partner in care and establishing your new routines. You have done everything you can for your loved one and now you have much-needed help in the process!
Article provided by Senior Care Solutions Staff