What you need to know about a successful transition into an Assisted Care Community –
Family members need realistic expectations about the time that it takes to adjust. This is a difficult change and it is a process that requires at least six weeks or sometimes months to complete.
Take a step back. Allow the staff to do their job so that families can be families again allowing the space for the adjustment process to proceed.
Assure that open communication is maintained between family and staff. Let them know about your senior’s preferences, concerns, ongoing health issues and idiosyncrasies. Always keep the lines of communication open and facilitate a team approach.
- Ask about a buddy system in which new residents are paired with an existing resident to facilitate the adjustment process and extend a bridge towards building relationships and managing initial anxiety.
- Remember that the family’s ability to adjust will affect the resident’s ability to adjust. Make sure that you are communicating that this move is positive rather than the end of the line. There is no such thing!
- Be aware of the timing of your visit. When you take your loved ones on outings in the beginning, you do not want to interfere with activities that they are beginning to enjoy.
- Always call or visit the community. When no one visits or calls, it sends a message that suggests that no one is watching the store. Involvement is a key to good care. If you live out of town or would like a professional set of eyes on the scene, hire a geriatric care manager to visit, investigate care, ask questions, and report back to you. It is an investment worth its weight in gold.
BY: Beverly Bernstein Joie, MS, CMC
President, Elder Connections