Changing homes can be scary under the best of circumstances, even if we are ready to make the change. So, imagine if you feel like you might not really have the choice, or you are moving not because you want to and you are ready but because it is what is best due to a specific situation. It is not hard to see that this could be relatively distressful and upsetting, yet this is the reality for many elderly people who either do not have the family to look after them, who are unable to live alone because they are unable to manage by themselves or might be struggling with an age-related brain disease. By not moving into a care home, they could be putting themselves at risk of harm or serious injury.

The latter can be one of the hardest outcomes, as they might not understand why they are being moved out of a place they are familiar with or moving away from routine and into something completely new. This is why the transition period is just as important as the new chapter of their lives in a care home. 

We are here to guide you on how you can make this transition easier on both your loved one and yourselves, offering some tips on how to make this move a little smoother and a little less stressful.

Get Ahead of The Game

Many admissions to care homes happen following a period of acute illness. This is often unprepared for, as accidents or illnesses can come out of the blue, but also so can the side effects. This can leave those who were perfectly capable and safe living on their own or without assistance completely blindsided by their new reality. Obviously, no one can predict when something like this could happen, but we can be prepared if it does. Have the discussion and make preparations before you are put in a position where you have to make a choice. Be sure to do all of your research and write each choice’s pros and cons while creating a plan. So, if the time ever comes, you can put the plan into action without panic and have a better idea about what you and your loved ones are going into. 

Involve Them in the Process

Many elderly adults are perfectly capable of being involved in the conversation, decisions, and process of choosing their next home. Unless your loved one suffers from the more severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is best to have an open conversation with them about their expectations and what they want from a care home and their new living situation. 

Some will be resistant to this change, and it can be an uncomfortable subject to broach, especially if they do not agree with the decision. It is important to always embrace conversations like this with utmost empathy and understanding. Be gentle, do not be forceful, and try not to get angry. It can be frustrating when you are trying to do what is best for someone, and perhaps they do not see it, but it is a really big (and probably quite scary) change for them, which will require patience on everyone’s part during the adjustment. When you are in a position to do so, write a list of your and your loved one’s wants and needs for a care home to find a pattern and narrow down what care homes fit the criteria. It is also worth remembering that reassurance goes a long way in the process. You might think it is obvious that you will still visit, and life will only be of better quality for them, but they may not. Let them know they are not in this alone and focus on what they will gain from trying out this experience, like not having to wash up the plates

Make Sure They Feel Supported 

There are few things worse than having to go through a really big change and feeling completely unsupported. It is one thing if the change is something you are completely sure of and are in control of all factors of it, but it is an entirely different kettle of fish for those who have to make a transition they are not prepared for, are confused about, or outright do not want to go through with. Ensure that your loved one knows that you are with them every step of the way and that the change will not impact their connection with you and their family. Point out the ways in which it will enrich your connection and their lives instead. Patience has been mentioned previously, but it is a key point here, as there is a good chance there will be an array of emotions experienced from all parties involved. This could include grief and loss for either an old home or old life, anxiety over a new beginning, or dealing with the factors which have been the propeller into care. There is also no harm in pointing out the support they will get from their new home too. A care home such as alexandria senior living has plenty of 24/7 functions and services they can access, and it probably helps that it could feel just like being on holiday too! 

Visit the Care Home

Visiting a care home and knowing what to expect can really lessen the anxiety. It is easy to imagine all worst-case scenarios if you cannot go and see it with your own eyes, so taking an in-depth tour of the home and asking questions could provide valuable information for the future. If this is a precautionary measure, then feel free to go alone, as bringing up the idea of a home before it is necessary could be opening a can of worms that can really just stay shut. However, you will have the peace of mind you have found somewhere you are comfortable with if the move needs to happen spur of the moment.