Here are suggestions from other caregivers for the elderly who have been there and done that in how you can make your loved one comfortable as they transition to a residential care facility:
Know when it’s time
If I was dealing with memory loss I would want my loved one to at least become familiar with their new surroundings before [their health is deteriorated]. I have had senior parents have their daughter put in a residents home in case they died before her. They wanted the staff to hear her stories and the life she once had. – Dani H.
I was there every day for hours but she couldn’t remember, even if I just left. – Jane C. A.
Ask about activities provided and try to get her involved. – Betty S. H.
[My mom] was in a facility run by nuns and priests and at least once a day she would go to the chapel for services. – Eluisa I. L.
Staff will speak with residents more often if you let them know how sad she is…as well as inviting patients to activities more frequently. – Diana M.
Always make sure they have pictures of their own mom and dad in their sight and fill their room with family pictures and their own things that make them feel comfortable. I also left family albums so she and her private PSW could look through them, when I couldn’t be there. – Jane C. A.
Music!!! Get her an ipod or Walkman with old cds that she loved as a younger girl. Its made a WORLD of difference in my mom. – Cindy L.
Make videos of family gatherings and let her watch it as often as she wants. – Tonia B.
Sing old songs; most likely, she will remember every word. – Cindy L. L.
Have a family meeting if you can and schedule your days. Share how the visiting went and share wants and needs of your person. – Debra K.
I have a sign in book in my mom’s room. – John-Roz S.
When I worked in programs I had an email set up called eldersonemail for recreational purposes only. Every Wednesday family had until 8:00pm to send emails on Sunday the recreation staff would print them off seal it in an evenlope with their name and a volunteer would deliver it to them. Writing letters is difficult for many families. I learned this from families feedback. Setting up an email system worked great. – Dani H.
Advocating for excellent care
I helped family members make an album about their parent or spouse with pictures of who was in their life and names. I also had them write their likes and dislikes, key words to use or not use, how they liked to be bathed, etc. It would stay by their bedside table. Senior helpers would pick it up and get to know the person as an individual. – Dani H.