Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

A Road Map for Helping Senior Relatives Transition to Living in a Care Home

  Jan 17, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur

As loved ones age, the decision to transition them to a care home can be emotionally challenging and complex. It requires careful planning, open communication, and a supportive environment to ensure a smooth transition.

Creating a road map for this significant life change can make the process more manageable for both seniors and their families. 

That means, shifting them from one place to another is a full-fledged task in itself. You have to convince them and take care of their physical and mental well-being. 

Therefore, keeping this issue in mind, this is what you should consider helping senior relatives transition to living in-home care.

Open and Honest Communication

The journey begins with open and honest communication. Discuss the situation with your senior relative, allowing them to express their concerns and preferences. 

Addressing their fears and uncertainties can help build trust and make them feel more in control of the situation.

It is recommended that you first address your concerns and also ask them theirs. Addressing the concerns of both sides will lead to a viable and undisputed decision. 

Be it loneliness, financial, or emotional problems. Try to find solutions that will make both sides happy.

Research and Visit Care Homes

Research different care homes in your area. Consider their facilities, staff-to-resident ratio, activities, and overall atmosphere. Schedule visits to potential care homes, like Signature Care Homes, allowing your senior relative to get a feel for the environment. 

Involving them in the decision-making process empowers them and ensures their comfort in their new home.

Whatever home care you choose, it should be comfortable and consist of all facilities that will lead to a better lifestyle. The ambiance there should be engaging so that the senior relatives do not feel alone.

Emotional Support

Recognize that this transition can be emotionally challenging. Provide emotional support not only to your senior relative but also to yourself and other family members. Share your concerns and seek guidance from support groups or therapists specializing in elder care.

Bad emotional support can lead to a severe risk of depression and other mental illnesses. Therefore, if you do not want your seniors to suffer from these serious conditions, you must make sure that there are professionals who will take care of this concern.

38.5% of elderly people had any mental disorder. The prevalence of MDD and any depressive symptoms were 16.6% and 21.6%, respectively.

Assess and Preserve Personal Belongings

Help your senior relatives assess their belongings and decide what to take with them. Familiar items like photos, furniture, and personal keepsakes can make their new space feel more like home, easing the transition.

These little things hold a lot of sweet memories that will help them in coping with their loneliness. You can also gift them some photos or belongings that will make them remember the great memories of their life.

Develop a Routine

Establish a routine that incorporates regular visits and activities. Consistency and familiarity can provide a sense of stability, making the transition more comfortable. Encourage your loved one to participate in community activities within the care home to foster new social connections.

The key is not to make them feel neglected or forgotten. Dedicated sometime in weeks or 2-3 days to regularly visit them. Ask about their well-being and health or if they are doing good. This way, you can show them that you still care about them and your responsibility towards your relationship/ 

Stay Involved

Stay actively involved in your senior relative’s life after the transition. Regular visits, phone calls, and participation in their care plan meetings demonstrate your ongoing support and help them adjust to their new surroundings.

As mentioned earlier, you must make them feel involved and not forgotten. Make sure that you show them that you still care about the responsibility towards them and the relationship that everyone holds.

Encourage Independence

Encourage your senior relative to maintain their independence as much as possible. Support them in engaging in activities they enjoy and help them access resources within the care home that promote autonomy, such as exercise programs or hobby groups.

Do not forget that they are also living beings and deserve their personal space. Do not dominate or force your actions on them since they are old. No matter what, they should have their consent.

Stay Informed

Stay informed about your senior relative’s health, well-being, and any changes in their care needs. Regular communication with the care home staff ensures that you are aware of their condition and can address any concerns promptly.

In this factor, the administration of the home care you are choosing should be co-operative and responsive. Focus more on the service they are providing rather than the money they are charging. Cheap alternatives might disappoint you severely with their service. 

Seek Professional Advice

Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice from geriatric care managers, social workers, or therapists specializing in elder care. They can provide valuable insights, resources, and emotional support tailored to your specific situation.

According to Statista “Most of those receiving home care in the U.S. are over 65 years old, with approximately 97 percent requiring assistance with bathing and 91 percent requiring assistance transferring in and out of bed.”

Self-Care for Caregivers

Lastly, remember to prioritize self-care. Caring for a senior relative can be emotionally and physically draining. Take breaks, seek assistance from other family members or professional caregivers, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

In conclusion, transitioning a senior relative to a care home requires patience, understanding, and compassion. By following this road map, families can provide the necessary support to make the transition as smooth as possible, ensuring the well-being and happiness of their loved ones during this significant life change.