Adjusting to Long Term Care

Moving to a long-term care facility is not easy. It is a difficult decision that usually comes at a time in a person’s life when there have been many changes, turmoil and unknowns. The result of having to move to a long-term care facility may worsen the recent changes and losses for the new resident. Many families would say the decision to admit someone they love to a long-term care facility is one of the hardest they have had to make.

For a newly admitted person the move into a long-term care facility may feel overwhelming; a person may experience changes to their independence, role, and family support. Talking openly about the move and being involved in decision-making may lessen the anxiety of moving.

For some families, questions such as, “Have I done the right thing? How will the staff know my dad or mom or spouse as well as I do? How will they know what he or she needs? Can I forgive myself?”, continue long after admission but for most, building trust and connections with the health care team decreases these concerns and questions.

Suggestions to help making the move easier for residents and families include:

  • Talk openly about the move
  • Focus on the positive
  • Become involved in decisions and activities related to your loved one’s care
  • Share information with the staff about the resident, their family and friends
  • Personalize the resident’s room
  • Ensure the resident has enough personal supplies and clothing
  • Get involved in activities of the Resident and Family Council
  • Visit when both resident and family feel comfortable
  • Ask questions
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