It's natural to experience a sense of guilt when you are no longer able to provide the care that a loved one needs. Moving them into an assisted living community can be a difficult decision, but it may be the best option for both of you. It can provide them with the care and security they need while still allowing them to maintain autonomy and independence.
The most important thing is to remember that you're making this decision out of love, not out of convenience for yourself. If you're feeling guilty about the decision, remind yourself that your loved one's well-being and safety is the top priority. Acknowledge that you're doing what's best for them, even if it was a difficult choice to make.
Including them in the process of choosing an assisted living community will make things easier for everyone. When you are ready to have a conversation with your loved one about assisted living, it is important to approach the topic with respect and kindness. Start by asking them how they feel about the idea of moving and listen carefully to their response. Explain the benefits that an assisted living facility can provide, such as around-the-clock care, access to amenities, social activities, and professional support.
It will be helpful to research local facilities together so you and your loved one can make an informed decision. Ask if there are any particular features or services that they would like from an assisted living community so that you can make sure they find somewhere they will be comfortable in. Similarly, make sure your loved one knows what types of care are included in the cost of the facility and which services may require additional fees.
Finding the right fit
Before selecting an assisted living facility for a loved one, it is important to do plenty of research. Consider the type of care that your loved one needs and look for facilities that are designed to meet those needs. It's also a good idea to research the staff members and their qualifications, as well as the safety features of the facility such as emergency call buttons or cameras.
Visiting the facility in person can be very helpful in gaining a better understanding of how it operates. Make sure you take note of any potential red flags including signs of neglect or disinterest from staff members, uncleanliness or disorganization, and outdated equipment or furniture. Additionally, ask to view sample menus and activity schedules so you can get an idea of what meals and entertainment will be offered on a daily basis.
Communicate openly and honestly about the transition
It is important to communicate openly and honestly with your loved one as they make this transition into assisted living. Let them know that you are making this decision out of love for them, and explain why it is necessary in terms they can understand. Reassure them that they will be safe, taken care of, happy, and able to maintain independence while in assisted living.
Ask if there is anything that they would like packed up before their move or any special items they would like to keep with them in their new home. Having input over this process can help your loved one feel more comfortable about the transition and make it easier for them to adjust.
Find ways to stay connected
Once your loved one has moved into an assisted living facility, staying connected is important. Regular visits or video calls will reassure them that you still care and are thinking of them, even if you’re not able to visit as often as before. To make communication easier, find out what type of technology the facility offers such as secure messaging systems or video chat services that allow residents and family members to stay connected virtually.
Make sure there is an open line of communication between you and the staff
Maintaining an open line of communication with the caregivers at an assisted living community is essential for ensuring that your loved one is well taken care of. The first step is to get to know the staff members who are responsible for providing care to your loved one and establishing a trusting relationship with them. Make sure you understand what type of services they offer and the daily schedule for activities, meals, and medications.
Additionally, make sure you communicate any concerns or questions that you may have about your loved one’s care to the staff members so they can address them promptly. Knowing that their health and well-being are being monitored can help alleviate some of the stress associated with making this decision.
It's natural to feel a sense of guilt when you are no longer able to provide the level of care your loved one may need, However by thoroughly researching the assisted living community you can feel confident they will get the care they need in a comfortable environment. You might also find solace in knowing that there are many activities available in the community that you would be welcome to participate in. Even though you may not be able to provide direct care anymore, there are still ways for you to stay connected with them and show them love by spending quality time together. Even though the circumstances have changed, your relationship doesn't have to suffer as a result. Take comfort in knowing that assisted living facilities employ trained professionals who will take care of your loved one so you can focus on being family instead of being a caregiver.
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Tyice Strahl (CSA, CHW)