Moving into a Care Home – Tips and Advice
Moving to a care home can be a really emotional time for everyone. Regardless of whether the move is due to an illness, injury, or the need for extra care, the process is never easy. It can get really difficult for the family member who needs to be moved as well as their careers. Naturally, such a huge physical and emotional change can be traumatic for people.
Getting adjusted to new places and people is not an easy thing to do. But, you can still make this process a little easy by taking care of certain things beforehand. To help you deal with these things, here are some tips on moving into a care home.
1. Prepare In Advance
Before you start planning the move in advance, you need to discuss it with your family member or relative who is moving. First and foremost, you need to come upon a mutual agreement with your family member and choose a care home. So the best thing you can do is visit several care centers and take into consideration several aspects like your loved one’s physical, social, and emotional needs. You can make the settling process a little easier by considering care centers that are near your home.
2. Make Your Loved One Feel Comfortable With The Move
It’s not always possible that your loved one will be keen on moving to a care home. In such cases, it’s not just emotionally difficult for them but also for all family members. So you need to be patient and calm with your loved one and help them feel positive about the move. You might face difficulties like your loved one not talking to you, not eating meals on time or being distant.
The best thing you can do to make your loved one feel comfortable is to give them a say in the moving process. That can include things like asking their advice on what they want to take along with them, taking them to the care homes to see the different amenities for their safety and health, etc. Make sure that you give them your time and talk to them about the move.
3. Assess The Care Home Before Choosing One
One of the most important things you need to consider when choosing a care home is understanding whether it suits the needs of your loved one. That’s why it’s good if you start visiting various care homes in advance to understand which home would give a homely feel to them.
Just visiting the care home and looking at the premises is not enough. You’ll have to ask several questions in order to assess the care home. The best thing to do is interact with the staff members and residents of the care home. You can also enquire about the different amenities, activities, routines and meals that the care home offers its residents. Also, don’t forget to discuss whether the move is going to be for a trial period or a respite break.
4. Bring In Home Comforts
It’s not easy to get adjusted to new surroundings, routines, and new people. That’s why you need to make your loved one feel comfortable at the care home. The first thing you need to do is ask the care home about all the things you need to bring in. There will be certain essential things like furniture which the room already has. Have you thought about how you can give a homely feel to the room?
You can bring in their favorite things like a cushion, bedsheet, book, lamp, and the likes that are of great sentimental value to them. Otherwise, the best thing to do is get some family photographs and hang or place them in the room. Another thing you can do to make your loved one comfortable is to invest in a smartphone or tablet. That way you’ll just be a video call away from your family member at the care home. When you make efforts to do all these things, you’re helping them get through this time of transition.
5. Packing The Right Wardrobe
You’ll have to be mindful of what kind of clothing you’re packing since the wardrobe space can be quite limited at a care home. So see to it that you pack appropriate clothes which can be taken on and off easily. It’s best if you pack machine-washable clothes. Don’t forget to label the clothes according to your loved one’s room number. Most care homes will offer laundry services, but there’s a possibility that the clothes are returned late. So make sure that you pack enough clothes for your loved one’s convenience.
6. Make A Care Plan And Keep Updating It
A care plan is a must to ensure that all the needs of your loved one are taken care of. It will include things like their medications, mealtime, sleeping time, changes in toilet patterns, etc. All of these things will be recorded in a file and kept in their room. So whenever you visit the care home, you can go through the care plan and see if all things are taken care of.
Don’t forget to ask the care home to keep updating the care plan every day. You can keep checking the plan during your visits and give your suggestions to the staff. That can include paying more attention to your loved one’s meals, encouraging them to take part in activities like board games or listening to music, etc.
7. Pay Careful Attention To Your Loved Ones
Moving away from one’s family to a new place can never be easy. So after you have already discussed the move with your loved one, you might notice certain changes in their behaviour. They may start alienating themselves, get anxious very often, lose their appetite, or get depressed. At such times, you need to pay careful attention not just to their physical needs but also their emotional and psychological needs.
You’ll have to treat them with patience and kindness and make them feel that they’re still loved and cared for. The best thing you can do is give them your time and listen to what they have to say. Make them feel that you acknowledge not just their presence but also value their opinions about the move.
8. Involve Your Family Members And Relatives
If you want your loved one to be acknowledged, the best thing to do is involve all family members and relatives in the move. You can discuss the frequency of visits to the care home with your family members and relatives.
Whether it’s to attend residents’ meetings or just to pay a visit to your loved one, your family members and relatives can have a huge impact on the move. Their support, love, and involvement can help your loved one cope with the move and help them battle negative feelings like loneliness and depression.
9. Stay Connected With Your Loved One
One of the most important things to do is to stay connected with your loved one. That can be done by frequently meeting them, asking them about their daily activities, and ensuring that the staff is taking care of them. You can also be in touch with the staff at the care home and keep a track of your loved one’s health and progress.
Apart from that, it would make them really happy if you attend any meetings or events at the care home. You can even volunteer to sometimes bring them their meal or medications when you go visit them. Even a video call every day will cheer them up and make them feel wanted and loved.
10. Don’t Forget To Take Some Time Out For Yourself
It’s absolutely natural to feel anxious, emotional, or guilty while planning the move to a care home. The sight of your loved one’s sad face can cause you a lot of emotional problems and make you feel depressed. The empty bedroom, old clothes, photographs lying in the house, their favorite TV shows, and the empty seat at the dining table will be constant reminders of your family member.
You need to give yourself some time to grieve about the physical distance between you and your loved one. So make sure you give yourself some time to accept this huge change in your life.
The care home you choose for your loved one needs to give them a positive and homely feeling. That’s why you need to take care of so many things to help your loved one cope with these new changes in their life. You can help them settle in a new place if you consider all the above tips on moving into a care home.
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How Do You Move Into A Care Home?
The first thing you need to do is discuss the move with your family members and ask for help in the process. You can then check your benefits office (if you have any) to know about disability benefits. Don’t forget to inform your relatives and friends about your move into a care home.
When Should You Move Into A Care Home?
If you’re having problems with everyday tasks and require attention day and night, you should consider moving to a care home. Also, problems like family members not being able to take care of your needs is another reason to take this decision. Even if you think that your health and safety is at risk at your current home, you should consider moving to a care home.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Living In A Care Home?
One of the biggest disadvantages of moving into a care home is the possibility of feeling lonely and getting into depression. Other than that, the nursing expenses, being away from one’s family, and monotonous daily routines are some of the disadvantages people face in care homes.
Is It Worth Working In A Care Home?
If you consider the love and gratitude you receive from the residents at the care home for your efforts and hard work, it’s definitely worth working there. You get to hone your communication, organizational, and time management skills. But of all the things you learn as a caregiver, the most important skills you learn are compassion and empathy.
When Should A Person With Dementia Move Into A Care Home?
In case any of your family members having dementia needs special care due to the progress in their dementia, then you can consider moving them into a care home. If it’s a case of an accident or the family is not able to meet all the needs of the patient, then the person can be moved into a care home.
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