Arletta's Adult Care Home, Inc.

 

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Selecting a care provider is not an easy venture. 

Our primary role is to help our residents to preserve their dignity.

 

Moving into Residential Care 

 

Once you've made the decision to use residential care, everything else should be easy, right? Not necessarily. While you may feel some sense of relief in finding a facility, you will still need to prepare emotionally and in practical terms for the move itself and your loved one's transition to a new living arrangement. 

  • Show support and reassurance

    The most difficult part of moving may not be the packing or transportation. It's likely to be the emotional preparation for your loved one and the family. Leaving the comfort of home, the company of family and losing independence are emotionally-charged issues. Reassure your loved one that He/She will not be abandoned and that He/She is still loved. Make sure He/She knows that cherished pets or plants that cannot go along will be well cared for. Allow him/her to grieve. And, although you may be in the role of supporter, remember that you too will need to process the complex feelings regarding the move.

 

  • What to pack

    What to pack depends largely on what type of facility your loved one will be moving into. Individuals going into a skilled nursing facility (or other residence with room and board accommodations) will bring the least since residents' rooms should be completely furnished. Nonetheless, a special chair or other small furniture item may be permitted, as space allows. Check on the house rules for plants. Some potted plants may be restricted as a potential allergen or toxic substance, if a bedroom is shared with other residents.

Packing recommendations include a two-week supply of clothing with an emphasis on comfortable, easy-fit and dressing. If incontinence is an issue, make sure clothing is easy to remove and that ample changes of clothes are packed.

In addition, be sure to bring along personal items like framed photos, photo albums or scrapbooks, reading materials and toiletries like cosmetics or special hair care items or lotions. Some other items might be: a personal pillow, afghan or comforter from home.

Expensive jewelry or other valuables are best left at home or in a bank safe deposit box. To minimize the risk of theft, anything of value should be inventoried and documented with the facility at the time of admission. You can also check with the facility to ensure there is a secure place for personal, legal and financial documents belonging to the resident. Show PDF Document.

  • Moving

    If you're moving into an assisted living facility with a private apartment, you'll need to move furniture as well as clothing and personal items. Unless you have family members with strong backs who are up for the task, hire professional movers. If you don't know who to call, the facility may be able to recommend a moving company. It's a good idea to shop around. If you're moving into Adult Family Home check with the facility manager what you need to bring you'll need to move furniture as well as clothing and personal items.

Call two or three companies to check prices and availability. Find out if they'll pack for you or if you need to pack everything yourself.

  • Settling in

    Leave time on moving day to help your loved one settle in. Unpacking personal items like family photos, scrapbooks or other treasured items will make the person feel more comfortable. In addition to setting up the room, you should plan to tour the facility and meet staff and other residents. You can request guest meals in the dining hall for extra family members on moving day. Also, make sure you know how to reach your loved one by phone-and He/She knows who to go to for questions or to get basic needs met. To make leaving more comfortable, schedule the next visit or outing before you go. 

 

  • Helping a confused person

    How you deal with orienting your loved one will differ greatly if He/She is forgetful or confused. A confused person can become more disoriented in a new environment and may not understand her new surroundings. Further, it may be impossible to prepare him/her ahead of time. Speak with staff before your arrival (and while you're there) to help minimize difficulties. Some families moving a loved one with moderate to severe dementia rely on well-intentioned deception (i.e., offering few details about the move before it happens). You can focus on offering comfort and compassion and reassuring the new resident that you'll be back soon.

You may find that regular visits without the burden of constant caregiving can help nurture your ongoing relationship with your relative. There's no one "proper" way to make the transition work so think through what strategy will is most appropriate for your family. 

 

  • Transition

Make sure you have an opportunity to meet with the nursing assistants, the ones who provide hands-on care at the facility. Your ability to create a rapport between these caregivers and your loved one will mean the difference between the new resident having a personal relationship with staff and being one more nameless person on the shift.

Family members can help individualize care by helping staff gets to know the new resident. Some families write a personal biography of their loved one including their history, names of children, siblings, etc, personal likes and dislikes (especially food), and tips for daily care (e.g., mom only drinks with a straw, or He/She always takes a bath-never a shower). Anything that will personalize care and help staff meet individual needs can be enormously helpful. Consequently  RESIDENTíS  PROBLEMS - NEEDS,  SERVICES: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, RESIDENTíS PREFERENCES and CHANGES will be included in Negotiated Service Plan.

 

  • Visiting and ongoing contact

    Leaving your loved one in the facility will be tough. It's unlikely that He/She will feel "at home" in the first days or weeks in a new place. The transition period will likely occur over several months. Your ongoing phone calls and visits will help immeasurably. In addition, by getting to know the Activities Coordinator you can learn about social activities that can help your loved one feel less isolated. If the new resident is able to develop a sense of community or other interests, it will lessen fears and wanting to go home. 

 

  • Dealing with complaints

    A new living arrangement necessarily means compromises, so be ready for some things to be less-than-perfect. Listen to your loved one's complaints - major and minor. Complaints about food are common and may require a conference with the facility administrator or kitchen staff. More serious complaints (either your loved one's or yours) can be addressed to the facility administrator, family council (if there is one) or contact: Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (1-800-562-6028). Or your State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The ombudsman is charged with investigating complaints in nursing homes and reporting facility violations.

It won't be easy, but by helping your loved one make this important life transition, you can continue to show that you care.

 

Copyright © 1995 Arletta's Adult Care Home, Inc.                                        
Last modified: August 06, 2016