3 Ways To Make Transitioning To Assisted Living Easier For All
Even under the best of circumstances, no one ever likes moving. This is especially true if you are leaving a home you have been in for decades that stores a lot of milestones in life and memories. There is never a perfect time to sit your aging parent(s) down and discuss the need for more care than you can give. No one ever wants to admit that they can’t live independently any more. You spend almost 20 years raising children and then they come to your house and tell you it’s time to leave it. If you wonder why these conversations get met with such resistance, just keep that in mind as you bring up the subject. You can make transitioning to assisted living easier if you keep focused on the facts, not personal feelings.
Compassion is key when you are dealing with aging family members, but firmness in what is needed has to have an equal measure. It may not be what they want, but if it is what they need, then decisions have to be made no matter how sad leaving their home will be. Not every family can house mom or dad. It’s just a reality. There are places for your mom or dad if skilled nursing isn’t needed but independent living is not safe any more.
A Few Ways To Help Make Transitioning To Assisted Living Easier
Obviously there is emotional prep work that has to be done before you get serious about pursuing assisted living for your parent(s)…for you. There will likely be hard feelings, there could be some yelling, they will probably tell you that you are paranoid or wrong. This isn’t about you, this is about letting go of independence. This is about their life changing and having to admit their limitations. Keep focused on the facts, not personal feelings still.
Siblings And Other Family Members Involved Need To Be Unified – Talk to your siblings and other important decision makers beforehand. Discuss the options, and how you will approach your parent(s) about this situation. You will need to make sure that you are all on the same page and that no one is going to waffle at the last minute. Make transitioning to assisted living easier by making a covenant with your family members to stick together on this decision. Any dissension in the ranks will be exploited by a parent resistant to this new chapter in life. Once you have confirmation that all are in agreement and willing to ride out any emotional storm that wells up, move on to step two.
Have More Than One Conversation About It – You may need to discuss this a few times with mom or dad before they start to consider it and be cooperative. It is preferable that all family members be present for the discussion but it is not always possible. Decide who will be the one(s) to bring it up ahead of time so the other ones know when to expect the ball to start rolling. Be as patient as you can but make a timeline for decisions in each step in the process. Keeping timelines for decisions at the forefront lets them know that you are serious but that there are some parts of the decision that they can still be in charge of. Make sure all involved know the timeline and keep to it.
Make The Decision On Where To Go Easier By Including Everyone – If at all possible, look at a few options and include your parent(s) in the decision making. After all, it will be their new home and will help with transitioning to assisted living easier if they have a say in where they will be. Other family members will likely want to be part of the selection process as well. Just like buying a new home, no place will be absolutely perfect, but there are plenty of assisted living communities that offer a wide range of activities and special interest groups that your parent(s) can take advantage of. Your parent(s) can be as active in their new community as they want to. This may not be their desire at first, but it won’t take long for them to be settled and find themselves interested in joining in the fun in no time. Find assisted living communities that offer the kinds of activities your parent(s) will enjoy.
Keep A Record Of As Much Medical And Other Information As Possible
There are lots of things the staff at any assisted living community should know about your parent(s) that will make transitioning to assisted living easier for them and your parent(s):
- Outside of the normal medical records, what other things should the staff know about them?
- Do they have any special preferences in their routine that the staff should know about?
- Do they like being outside?
- What are their hobbies?
- What is their background?
- Any special accomplishments?
With so much to know about your parent(s), how will you get it all in front of the staff members that will interact with them every day? Introducing eCare Vault. It is the first cloud-based care coordination platform of its kind created especially for sharing information about the whole person; all medical and non-medical information finally in one place. Each member of the family can write their own special message about their parent(s) and share it with anyone who is on their eCare Vault care team. Staff members at your parent’s assisted living community can write notes, share pictures and let your family know how mom and dad are settling into their new living environment.
Making the decision to pursue assisted living for your family members is a hard road to travel. Making transitioning to assisted living easier on everyone, including your parent(s) is possible with pre-planning, open communication and seamless sharing of information. Let eCare Vault be part of your transition process and find out just how easy care coordination for your family members can be.