Moving into an Aged Care Facility can be a traumatic experience for your loved one. But it can also be significantly stressful for you too.
From our Aged Care Coordinator’s, experience, there is generally a 4-6 weeks settling-in period where loved ones will often present with resentment towards family members. This then results in heightened feelings of guilt for their families.
Please know that you are not alone.
“Unless your Mum or Dad has been the driving force for the move into Aged Care, most of the time this will be an incredibly emotional time for both you and your loved one,” says Naomi Anderson.
“When your loved one is admitted into a facility, it will be an overwhelming time for both you and them. This is where the reigns need to be given to the facility staff for them to guide you through the process.”
There will be lots of time spent in meetings, staff asking questions about your loved one, the care they are currently needing and their life history. This ensures that everything is considered when the care that your Mum or Dad needs is being provided.
Often, the facility will provide you with a list of items they recommend that you bring with Mum or Dad. This includes pants, tops, underwear, jumpers/cardigans, socks and continence aids. Generally, the facility staff will take these upon admission for labelling.
“In the first few weeks, your loved one will be becoming familiar with their new home, their new surroundings, new co-residents, new staff and new routines,” explains Ms Anderson.
“This is a huge change from the life they were used to, so it’s important that consistency is maintained, and that family are encouraging, supportive and reassuring.”
According to Naomi Anderson, telling your loved one that they are in the right place and that they are being cared for will go long way in reassuring them.
Trusting the staff and the facility processes are also crucial to making this transition smooth, as well as presenting as a united front.
“From my experience, the elderly person going into care will often place a lot of blame on the family and will only have negative statements to make about the facility. Remember that this is all a part of the settling in process. In time, they will begin to enjoy their new environment and begin making new friendships. However, if you have concerns, be sure to voice them, and ask questions if you don’t understand,” says Ms Anderson.
Generally, after the settling-in period, families will often begin to see differences in their loved ones, especially if they had previously been living alone at home and not coping. This could present as regaining weight they may have unintentionally lost and a cleaner, more ‘rested’ appearance.
Families may also notice that their loved one is also appearing more social and joining in activities where they previously may not have done so. These indicators usually symbolise that your loved one has begun to settle and is beginning to enjoy their new home.
It can be a rough road to get to this new phase, but at the right facility, with the right support, it is totally worth it. If you would like to have a chat about transitioning Mum or Dad into Aged Care but don’t know where to start, give us a call on 1300 245 490, and one of our team will guide you through the process.