The decision to move an elderly parent into aged care is never an easy one. Seeing them turn to the care facility can be both emotionally and financially taxing.
That said, with career, family, and other obligations on the line, it’s sometimes the most practical option for many people. Having your parents in the care of professionals can also bring some peace of mind knowing that they’re in a safe and comfortable place.
If you’ve been considering making the move, here are some tips to consider before settling your elderly loved one into aged care.
1) Vet Your Local Facilities
The first thing you should do is review all the local aged care facilities in your area. This is where your elderly loved one will be spending most of their days, so it’s important to research the cleanliness of the rooms, the care providers’ receptiveness, and other amenities.
You can ask around with other families in the area that may have experience with an aged care facility to get a better idea of what you should be looking for. You may also want to pick a facility close by so that you can drop by without having to go too far of a drive to get there.
By doing your homework, you can ensure that the facility is a good fit for your elderly loved one.
2) Communicate With Your Loved One Throughout the Process
The decision to move into aged care is a major life event for your elderly parents. As such, it should not be made without involving your loved one in the process as much as possible.
Talk to them about their feelings, their concerns, and what they would like in their next home. Empathize with their situation and make sure they feel reassured that you have their best interests in mind.
If they’re dreading or anxious about the sudden move, try to brief what they need to know and understand before entering aged care.
Perhaps you can pep them up by saying that there’s a vibrant social community and that they’ll have access to good food and quality medical care in the facility. This way, you can ease their worries and fight any resistance they have.
3) Brief the Staff About Need-to-Knows
Once you’ve chosen a facility and your elderly loved one is ready to move in, it’s important to check in with the facility’s staff and relay any information they should know.
Firstly, review your elderly loved one’s medical history and provide a detailed list of their medications. You should also let the staff know if there are any specific needs or routines that your loved one may have.
By giving a comprehensive overview of your loved one’s lifestyle, you can ensure that the aged care facility has all the necessary information to give them a comfortable stay.
Also, it’s encouraged that your parent(s) and the staff meet up at least once or twice before the actual move-in date. This will help you discern if they have good chemistry and if your parents will be comfortable throughout their stay.
4) Your Visits are Precious
Before you move your parents to a new aged care facility, you should always bear in mind that your visits are precious to them.
Make sure to set aside quality time and visit your elderly loved ones now and then. It doesn’t always have to be a long visit—even an hour or two can turn an ordinary day for them into a great one.
You can make your visits even more appealing by giving them gifts or bringing them things to do to pass the time. Additionally, you can have an outingin the nearby park and take them to the local shops.
This way, they can see that even though they’re not living in their old home, your presence is still something they can feel often.
5) Help Them Pack
A helpful gesture that you can give your elderly parents before they move into aged care is to help them pack.
This will make their transition smoother as they won’t have to worry about sorting out their belongings.
Help them choose the items that they need most, such as clothing, shoes, and toiletries. From there, you can also help them with packing their sentimental objects such as photos and furniture.
By giving your elderly parents a helping hand on what to pack, you can ensure their satisfaction and ability to adjust to the facility’s rooms easily. You can also go the extra mile and help decorate the room in the facility itself with things that they once owned.
6) Talk With Their Doctors
While your parent’s doctors would likely be supportive of the move, it’s important to check in with them to know whether they’re 100% onboard with it.
The reason for this is that there can be health complications that the doctor may be aware of, such as medications or treatments that your elderly parent is currently undergoing.
You don’t want to risk the possibility of them receiving inadequate care or missing important treatments, so it’s best to coordinate with their doctors to make sure that their health won’t be hindered in any way.