Considering a nursing home for yourself, a parent, or loved one is not something anyone ever wants to do.
But for many older people, living in a warm, safe, caring environment provides the best possible quality of life in one’s later years.
While your instinct may be to avoid talking about moving from the family home until it becomes an emergency, it would be more beneficial to prepare yourself and your loved ones for the next stage in life.
What has my loved one’s life been like so far?
Do your research.
When dicussing a nursing home option for your loved one, we at Firstcare believe it is of the utmost importance to think primarily about how your loved ones’s daily life will fit with the new home. Consider their entire life story and if their habits will mesh with life in the new home.
Do you, your spouse, parent or loved one need help with dressing? Taking medication on time? By understanding exactly what care level one might need, you can research with a clear starting point.
Will they still be able to do their favourite things?
If your dad likes to go to the pub to watch the Rugby on Saturdays, will their new living situation allow for that? Oftentimes families can be drawn to homes with the look and feel of something like a five-star hotel. While hotels might be nice to stay in for a short while, they aren’t designed to feel like a home. Think about what their stay in the home will be like long-term – even treat it like you’d simply be searching for a new unsupervised living situation.
Do they like the look and decoration of the home?
What about the gardens and grounds? Is the room a place that they would be comfortable sleeping in? How much can a room be changed to reflect personal tastes? These are are all important questions you should be asking of any nursing home that you visit to ensure your loved one settles in comfortably, without massive changes to their routine.
Learn the language.
Assisted living, nursing care, home care, nursing home and dementia care are all different services that offer various care levels. Prepare yourself with this knowledge so you can communicate to others clearly.
Avoid conflict by involvement.
Include an unbiased third party.
You can offer to include your loved one in the research and take their input into consideration.
Show them the FirstCare website and blog. Explain that they can bring their own furniture and if they have a pet, reassure them that the pet can visit regularly.
Respect their wishes.
If your loved one would rather you handle the process, respect their wishes and try to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Bringing another person into the conversation, such as a doctor, partner, or close friend, can help ground the discussion and keep things on track.
Get your siblings on board.
Family tension can add stress to the process. Connect with your family prior to approaching your parent, and make sure you are all on the same team.
This can be a difficult time for all people in the family and acknowledging this will be an important step in keeping the decision-making process focused on the needs of the person.
Everyone wants the best for themselves and their loved ones to be able to live full lives in warm safe and comfortable environments but for some people discussing change may come with fear, guilt and anxiety.
This is normal and at FirstCare we will support you through the process with an understanding that each person’s situation is unique.
Our FirstCare staff are both skilled and empathic in how they support people through this process.
Do not expect to come to a decision after one conversation.
Resisting change is normal. Let your loved one sit with the idea of getting some assistance or moving.
Make this an ongoing conversation.
Set aside a time to revisit the topic after your initial talk, and continue to approach the subject with sensitivity.