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My Mom just moved to Assisted Living -am I still a caregiver?

Donna Thomson | 7 Minute Read

As caregivers, our roles can easily become our identities. So how does a dependent loved one’s move out of the home affect us? Are we still caregivers? What will our new role be and how will we still manage to ‘be a family’ in a setting that is so different from home?


A loved one’s move into assisted living or long-term care does not cancel out family relationships. Caregiver roles change, but we are no less important to a loved one’s well-being because others are now tasked with performing physical care. Change is always challenging and when moving a parent out of the home and into assisted living or long-term care, there are a few considerations that will ease the transition for all.

  1. Accept that adapting to change and learning to trust a new care team will take time. Everyone in the circle of care will need support, so know that for at least three months, your role will likely be intensive. There will be many visits, phone calls, teaching and encouraging of new staff as well as reassuring of your loved one.
  2. Know that change will be challenging for you, the caregiver. Planning carefully will ease worry and help strengthen a sense of control over what feels unknown and frightening. Be kind to yourself, because the transition is emotional and tiring.
  3. If possible, visit often before the move and establish relationships with the staff. Ensure that they know you will be available as an information source and as a comfort for your loved one.
  4. Ask as many specific questions as you can think of such as: are there policies regarding visits of family members including children and pets? Is there a room where families can visit and have celebrations such as birthdays? Is there a time of day when it’s best to plan outings? Is there a doctor in the house and what are the procedures in case of emergency?
  5. Create a document for the staff that includes personal information, health history, current medications, contact information for family and involved health care professionals, a daily diary of your loved one’s routine, preferences and intolerances, and fear/anger triggers as well as other important factors influencing mood.
  6. When your loved one moves, let the staff know what level of your engagement you think eases anxiety, both for yourself and your loved one. Discuss with the staff whether you plan to be present most of the time at first and then ease away slowly. Or, whether you believe it will help your loved one adjust to his or her new surroundings by staying away more at first.
  7. Know that you will likely still be responsible for bringing your loved one to doctor appointments and for providing personal support in the hospital if your loved one should become acutely ill. Ensure that your legal arrangements for your loved one’s health care and finances are in order.
  8. Create a calendar for visits and outings and keep it prominently displayed in your loved one’s room. That way, staff will be aware of plans and can prepare your loved one both emotionally and physically for going out or staying in with family and friends.
  9. Provide support for your loved one in medical, financial and personal decision-making.
  10. Know that spending time with your loved one will probably be a significant strategy to lower your own stress. But set limits on your involvement – share with the care staff the roles and responsibilities you would like to maintain in the life of your loved one. Clear communication within the circle of care is the key to success.

Moving a loved one out of home into a care facility because of escalating needs constitutes a huge change for all concerned. Loving relationships will be tested, but developing trust in new surroundings will ease anxieties over time. Everyone has strengths and preferences that determine which care tasks they will gravitate towards and that will not change regardless of where a loved one resides. Navigating relationships with the care staff will be tricky and building trust will require tact, honesty, and kindness. Remember that stress and worry can sometimes be expressed in ways that appear angry, so be aware that the care staff will respond in a more positive way if they are treated with respect, as allies and care partners.

Moving an elder loved one into assisted living or long-term care does not mean the end of caregiving – it is simply the beginning of a new and changed caring role. The engine of success in moving a loved one through levels of care is love and the antidote to anxiety is trust in others to give good care and faith in a future that is manageable. Achieving calm in transitioned care arrangements requires a calm, optimistic, strategic and loving approach – qualities that are in the caregiver playbook every single day.

It's hard to argue against the experience virtual reality can offer. But in terms of functioning as an everyday, household technology, VR has a long way to go. Statista notes that an estimated five million devices will be sold worldwide in 2018. Stacked up against the world's seven billion-strong population, that's not exactly bringing VR toe to toe with smartphones, which are projected to number six billion by 2020, according to CNBC.

Creating a Shared, User-Directed Experience

A static VR experience-one that offers immersive video but little to no interaction-won’t do much to stoke the interests of your audience. Recently, a choose-your-own adventure approach has become much more common when designing VR experiences. Even if the cost of building out these varied paths can be pricey, organizations are increasingly discovering that the cost of production is balanced out by the value created when users are given agency to control the flow of that experience.

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Jonathan Crowl specializes in digital marketing and content creation for both B2B and B2C brands, with an emphasis on startups and technology. His past and current clients include B2B brands IBM, LinkedIn, Mad Mobile, Oktopost, BrightSpot, and Waze, as well as B2C brands Porsche, Epson, and PayPal. He lives in Minneapolis.

SEE MORE FROM JONATHAN

My Mom just moved to Assisted Living -am I still a caregiver?

Donna Thomson March 29, 2018

Caregiver & Parents > Advice/Tips

easter

As caregivers, our roles can easily become our identities. So how does a dependent loved one’s move out of the home affect us? Are we still caregivers? What will our new role be and how will we still manage to ‘be a family’ in a setting that is so different from home?


A loved one’s move into assisted living or long-term care does not cancel out family relationships. Caregiver roles change, but we are no less important to a loved one’s well-being because others are now tasked with performing physical care. Change is always challenging and when moving a parent out of the home and into assisted living or long-term care, there are a few considerations that will ease the transition for all.

  1. Accept that adapting to change and learning to trust a new care team will take time. Everyone in the circle of care will need support, so know that for at least three months, your role will likely be intensive. There will be many visits, phone calls, teaching and encouraging of new staff as well as reassuring of your loved one.
  2. Know that change will be challenging for you, the caregiver. Planning carefully will ease worry and help strengthen a sense of control over what feels unknown and frightening. Be kind to yourself, because the transition is emotional and tiring.
  3. If possible, visit often before the move and establish relationships with the staff. Ensure that they know you will be available as an information source and as a comfort for your loved one.
  4. Ask as many specific questions as you can think of such as: are there policies regarding visits of family members including children and pets? Is there a room where families can visit and have celebrations such as birthdays? Is there a time of day when it’s best to plan outings? Is there a doctor in the house and what are the procedures in case of emergency?
  5. Create a document for the staff that includes personal information, health history, current medications, contact information for family and involved health care professionals, a daily diary of your loved one’s routine, preferences and intolerances, and fear/anger triggers as well as other important factors influencing mood.
  6. When your loved one moves, let the staff know what level of your engagement you think eases anxiety, both for yourself and your loved one. Discuss with the staff whether you plan to be present most of the time at first and then ease away slowly. Or, whether you believe it will help your loved one adjust to his or her new surroundings by staying away more at first.
  7. Know that you will likely still be responsible for bringing your loved one to doctor appointments and for providing personal support in the hospital if your loved one should become acutely ill. Ensure that your legal arrangements for your loved one’s health care and finances are in order.
  8. Create a calendar for visits and outings and keep it prominently displayed in your loved one’s room. That way, staff will be aware of plans and can prepare your loved one both emotionally and physically for going out or staying in with family and friends.
  9. Provide support for your loved one in medical, financial and personal decision-making.
  10. Know that spending time with your loved one will probably be a significant strategy to lower your own stress. But set limits on your involvement – share with the care staff the roles and responsibilities you would like to maintain in the life of your loved one. Clear communication within the circle of care is the key to success.

Moving a loved one out of home into a care facility because of escalating needs constitutes a huge change for all concerned. Loving relationships will be tested, but developing trust in new surroundings will ease anxieties over time. Everyone has strengths and preferences that determine which care tasks they will gravitate towards and that will not change regardless of where a loved one resides. Navigating relationships with the care staff will be tricky and building trust will require tact, honesty, and kindness. Remember that stress and worry can sometimes be expressed in ways that appear angry, so be aware that the care staff will respond in a more positive way if they are treated with respect, as allies and care partners.

Moving an elder loved one into assisted living or long-term care does not mean the end of caregiving – it is simply the beginning of a new and changed caring role. The engine of success in moving a loved one through levels of care is love and the antidote to anxiety is trust in others to give good care and faith in a future that is manageable. Achieving calm in transitioned care arrangements requires a calm, optimistic, strategic and loving approach – qualities that are in the caregiver playbook every single day.