Aging parents and grandparents begin to need constant care both physically and emotionally. Choosing to move your loved one into an assisted living facility is not easy at all, for you or your loved one. However, the move can be easier with these 10 steps to moving into an assisted living facility.
The first area that will need to be addressed is what items can be taking into the room where your loved one will be living. Followed by the visitation schedule, if any, and what situations trigger the need for a family member to be present. We are going to discuss a 10-Step checklist for moving your loved one away from their home and into an outside facility so you can feel good about your decision.
- Decide what to do with the current home and/or living space. The first thing you must decide when you are considering moving your loved one into an assisted living facility, is what to do with the current location. If, for example, your aging parent, grandparent or loved one, has been living in their own residence up until the time they will be moving out, you must decide who will stay in the home or of no one will stay in the home, but rather take care of the residence. Again, have this conversation as early as possible because this is a critical decision at this juncture. Ask your family member what they would like to see happen with the residence, if this is a dwelling such as a lifetime home. If they are moving out from an apartment, the issue is where to store the items that cannot be taken to the assisted living facility.
- Decide the move in strategy and discuss this with family members. Moving out from a home into a facility carries many possibilities of rejection by the loved one so a good idea in strategy #2 is to plan this move to be a fun day with lots of love and support. Discuss the plan with all family members who may be involved in support so the day happens with ease and dignity.
- Visit the facility at least 10 times before deciding which assisted living home will be the best for your loved one’s situation. If your loved one is still able to do physical activities, a facility with more outdoor options may be the best choice. However, if your loved one has a condition that will quickly degrade health, a facility near a hospital may be the best choice. Use your best judgement during your visits to the assisted living facility.
- Ensure that you have a good checklist of current medications and any medications your loved one may be allergic or sensitive to so the care givers will know this up front. Even if your loved one has an emotional tendency such as self-harm or acting out, inform the assisted living facility of this as well.
- Have all documentation ready in advance of enrolling your loved one into an assisted living facility. These documents include a living will, do not resuscitate directive and complete will. Your loved one most likely is going to this facility to complete his or her life cycle so this part is important.
- Ensure there is a clear list of phone numbers for the facility to call if there is an emergency, and the presence of a family member is needed. If you are putting phone numbers on this list ensure the family member is well aware that they may be contacted by the assisted living facility in case of an emergence. Remember to update this list with the facility administration if there are changes to the contact source.
- Move only the necessities at first. Although your loved one may be a pack rat and want to take everything, there often is simply not enough room for all of their desires so start off with the basics of home plus plenty of things to do such as crossword puzzle books, crocheting things and activity materials that will be there for your loved one.
- Spend quality time with your loved one before its time to move them into an assisted living facility. Go fun places and take vacations they may have dreamed of. This helps them feel loved, appreciated and secure in the move.
- Gather the family for a pre-death planning session. While this certainly is the hardest part of putting a family member into assisted living, it is a piece that must be discussed. Too many people pass away with confusion within the family.
- Finally, whatever you decide, know that you have taken the needed steps in doing the best thing for your loved one. Take some time to treat yourself good for being a decision maker and for doing what is needed and best for your loved one.
Home care, adult daycare and assisted living options are all decisions that require a lot of energy and love. Believe in yourself to make the right choices and know that your love – is what makes your loved one – feel loved.
Copyright 2017 – Helen Justice GCM – Elder Care Navigator and Advocate – Advanced Wellness GCM, Inc
Known by many as “The Elder Care Navigator”, Helen Justice is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager trained to assist elders and their families with the process of aging with dignity and grace. Her knowledge and experience insures elders obtain quality care and transitional preparation for their future. More important than the financial aspect of aging is the social and emotional component that elder care places on the family. Go to www.advancedwellnessgcm.com for information on no fee seminar.