|Written by Bill Hanks|
One of the hardest decisions, that some individuals have to make, is that of placing a senior/parent into an assisted living nursing home. We place them there because we love them and want the best for them in care. Still, this decision can give us a severe feeling of guilt. That guilt coming from the idea of abandonment. This article will provide some suggestions for getting through this ordeal.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is the same as residential living with the exception of having medial tasks performed for the occupant. Help is only a phone call away. Privacy and independence is still encouraged for the resident.
Advantages of Assisted Living
Three meals a day, medicine help, cleaning and bath assistance, hygiene assistance, household chores, personal security and social activities are just a few of the advantages of assisted living.
Making the Transition for the Resident
Visit First; Take a guided tour of the facility. Get familiar with the location. Make mental notes of the laundry room, cafeteria, lounge, fitness center and other areas. If possible, spend a weekend.
Partner Up; Married couples usually find it easier to make the move because they have each other. If you are a loner, try sharing a space with a friend or relative.
Pack Well; Take your time making the move. Don't give up things you really like. If you an important hobby, try to take it with you. If you have important meaningful home furnishings, do not leave them behind.
Stay Busy; Get out and meet your new neighbors. Remember, they have the same feelings that you are going through. Ask for assistance from them. They are quick to give you a true knowledge of how things work at the facility.
Go Easy; Leaving a lifetime of memories can be overwhelming. However, you are now looking at a new challenge. Never be afraid to ask for help. Take whatever time you need to make the adjustment.
Get Out; If you have the capabilities, get out. Take a walk or bike around the neighborhood. You can familiarize yourself with the area and it gives you the freedom you need to maintain your independence.
Things to Look For
Fancy isn't everything. Evaluate these questions for yourself. Is the staff friendly? Is the facility clean? Does the staff interact with the residents? Is the environment comfortable? How does the staff handle emergencies? Are the residents friendly and active? Do the residents appear happy to you? Are there hobbies or activities on site that appear interesting to you? Are the residents free to move around as they want? Do the meals appeal to you? How is the medication handled?
Finally (What You can do to Help)
If you have to place a senior/parent into a facility, you also have to adjust. You can make the transition easier by doing the following. Visit often in the beginning. Call at least once a day. Stay positive. Avoid tears and the guilt feeling (especially when visiting). Take them out for lunch, appointments or shopping. Shopping can be a very positive experience for seniors/parents. It helps promote self esteem. Let them spend the night at your place, once in awhile. These simple things can make the transition to a new home easier.