Moving from Home to Long-Term Care: A Guide for Elderly People & Seniors
In this post, we'll explain the process of moving from home to long-term care and provide a guide from our Grandpal perspective for seniors and elderly people.
As we age, our needs and requirements change. For some, this may mean moving from the comfort of their own home to a long-term care facility which can be a daunting experience. However, it is important to remember that long-term care facilities offer specialized support and care tailored to meet the specific needs of older people.
This guide willto help you navigate the process of moving from home to long-term care, including what to expect, what to consider when choosing a facility, and how to make the transition as smooth as possible.
What is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care refers to a range of services and support provided to individuals who are unable to perform basic activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating, due to physical or cognitive limitations. Long-term care facilities provide round-the-clock care, as well as specialized services such as medical treatment and rehabilitation, to meet the unique needs of older people.
Step 1: Assessing the Need for Long-Term Care
Before you make the decision to move into a long-term care facility, it's crucial to assess the senior's needs and determine whether such a move is necessary. Consult with healthcare professionals, family members, and the senior themselves to evaluate their physical and mental health, as well as their functional abilities. If the senior is struggling to complete daily activities or requires constant supervision, it may be time to consider long-term care.
There are a number of reasons why older people may consider moving to a long-term care facility, including:
- Difficulty performing basic activities of daily living
- Need for 24/7 medical supervision
- Requirement for specialized care and support
- Difficulty managing medications or treatments
- Difficulty maintaining the upkeep of a home
Step 2: Choosing the Right Long-Term Care Facility
Research and compare different long-term care facilities in your area. Consider factors such as the types of services provided, staff-to-resident ratio, and cost. Visit the facilities in person to get a feel for the environment and ask questions about their policies, procedures, and amenities. Use resources like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Nursing Home Compare tool and rankings to help you make an informed decision.
Consider the following factors when making your decision:
- Location: Choose a facility that is convenient for your family and friends to visit.
- Services and Amenities: Make sure the facility offers the services and amenities that meet your needs and preferences.
- Quality of Care: Research the quality of care provided by the facility, including staff qualifications and patient satisfaction rates.
- Cost: Consider the cost of the facility, as well as any additional expenses, such as meals and activities.
Step 3: Preparing for the Move
Once you've chosen a suitable long-term care facility for your loved one, it's time to prepare for the move. Work with the facility to develop a personalized care plan that addresses the senior's specific needs and preferences. Make a list of essential items they will need in their new living space, including clothing, toiletries, medications, and familiar belongings to help them feel more at home.
Here are some tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible:
- Take your time: Moving to a long-term care facility is a big decision, so take your time to make sure you choose the right facility and that you are ready for the transition.
- Pack your personal belongings: Take the time to pack your personal belongings, including items that are meaningful to you. This will help you feel more at home in your new living space.
- Communicate with your family and friends: Let your family and friends know about your decision to move to a long-term care facility, and keep them updated throughout the process.
- Get to know your new community: Take the time to get to know your new community and make new friends.
- Stay active: Engage in activities and events offered by the facility to stay active and maintain a sense of purpose.
Quality of life in this new phase is an important factor to keep a well-balanced mental health and to ensure these last and very important years are here to enjoy.
Step 4: Making the Transition
On moving day, try to remain as calm and positive as possible to help reduce anxiety for the senior. Encourage them to say goodbye to their home and reassure them that their new environment will be safe and comfortable. Once they have settled in, help them personalize their living space with familiar items, such as photographs and cherished possessions.
Step 5: Adjusting to Long-Term Care Living
The first few weeks in a long-term care facility can be challenging for seniors as they adjust to their new environment and routines. Encourage them to participate in social activities and engage with other residents to form connections and develop a sense of community. Maintain regular communication with the facility's staff to ensure that your loved one's needs are being met and address any concerns or issues that arise.
Step 6: Supporting Your Loved One
It's essential to provide ongoing support and encouragement to your loved one as they navigate their new life in a long-term care facility. Visit them regularly, attend care plan meetings, and stay involved in their daily life to demonstrate your continued love and commitment. Encourage open communication and listen to their concerns, fears, and feelings about the transition.
Moving from home to a long-term care facility can be a difficult decision, but it is important to remember that long-term care facilities offer specialized support and care tailored to meet the specific needs of older people. By considering your specific needs, researching your options, and making the transition with care and support, you can ensure that you receive the best possible care and support as you. Feel free to send us a message and tell us more about your own experience. The Grandpal team always welcomes messages from our community.