Transitioning an Elderly Parent to an Assisted Living Facility

It Doesn’t Have To Be A Battle

Advice From Your Peachtree Elder Care Law Attorney on a Smooth Transition

The notion of forcing a person from their home hits most people with a feeling of dread. When that person is a parent, other family member or other senior(s) it becomes incredibly difficult to do. Most of the time, they don’t want to go. This is perfectly understandable, especially if they have lived in this home for years or decades. It’s important that you do everything that you can to understand this from their perspective.

Sometimes an event happens — a serious accident or injury, for example — that forces the move so that you aren’t required to. Even then, it can still be difficult. That’s usually not the case, however; most frequently, our aging relatives and friends have plenty of time to see this coming. It can be quite helpful to begin discussions of this transition well before it’s likely to happen, though that, too, depends on the person.

Here, we’ll go through some helpful tips and reminders in moving your loved one into an assisted living or other care facility. The best approach is usually by coordinating with your senior’s doctor and the facility staff. If you ever feel the need to enlist the services of a Peachtree-area elder care lawyer, please contact our office.

How to help your loved one adjust to their new home:

  • Please, don’t feel guilty

    • Many feel discomfort or shame about helping their senior into an assisted living or other care facility. This is ultimately unhelpful, because the move was made with the best intentions for your loved one. Remember that the move was made to benefit their health and well-being
  • Keep in touch regularly.

    • Keeping in frequent contact — especially at first — with your beloved friend or family member ensures that they don’t feel left out and you can stem your guilt by knowing how well they are doing. When visiting is not possible, keep in regular contact with your senior friend or family member and with the staff at the facility to ensure everything is going well. When you can visit, see if you can attend any activities in or outside of the facility with your loved one. This way you can also ensure that they are socializing.
  • Don’t be too quick to hold their hand.

    • While it is important to visit or call, family members or friends that visit too frequently or call too much can be a detriment to their loved ones, in that they are inhibiting their independence. Time with family and close friends is important, but so is encouraging their community involvement and their social life within their community. Make sure they have ample time and space to adjust.
  • Bring them personal items.

    • Items like photographs, knickknacks, medals, trophies and the like are all important, memory-laden items your senior will be happy to keep in their new home. Bring those items to them so that they can be cherished.
      Help them manage any legal concerns.If your family member or friend needs to create a will, a living will, or any other legal documentation with respect to their estate and property, contact your local Peachtree elder care lawyer for assistance in drafting those documents.

We’ll be happy to assist you and your family.

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The Role of The Assisted Living or Care Facility

The importance of the caregivers at the assisted living or care facility cannot be overstated. They will be with your loved one(s) 24/7. They will be assisting them in establishing their daily routines and their daily rhythms. They will be working to ensure your senior friend or family member is adjusting as best as possible.

Studies on these adjustment periods conclude that they may take anywhere from 30 to 90 days. The transition time period is really up to your senior, but the staff at their facility can certainly help that time decrease if possible. Mostly, however, it is important that your loved one takes action, too. Their participation in their adjustment period is the only thing that can ensure it will be brief and successful.

Sometimes, transitioning can be easier when a new resident understands their rights fully. If they are having trouble grasping onto the retention of their rights in an assisted living facility, your Peachtree elder care lawyer can assist in explaining those changes and adjustments to them. Please call our office anytime.

Your senior friend or family member’s doctor plays an important role in turning over medical records to the facility as well as explaining to the medical staff if there any prescription concerns or other anomalies. Most of the medical staff at assisted living or similar care facilities are CNAs and other nursing staff. The doctor’s office for your loved one can transfer the records, but they do generally need the patient themselves to sign a request to do so.

Frequently, these requests can be emailed back and forth or faxed if necessary. What the staff will need and how they will have access will vary by location, but it is important that these records are transferred prior to the transition to the new facility so that they can receive prescribed medications on time once they have reached the facility and have begun the adjustment process.

Tips for your loved one on making the adjustment:

  • Keep an open mind.

    • If seniors understand and are prepared for their move, they will better manage the transition and make the necessary adjustments. Keeping perspective and their mind open is an important part of making those changes a positive experience for them.
  • Socialize.

    • When moving into a new place, making new friends can be the difference between a positive and a negative reaction. The facility may begin to feel a lot more like home when there is a friendly face or two around. Otherwise, your senior friend or family member may isolate in their apartment or condo alone, and there is nothing worse than that.
  • Ask questions.

    • There is a lot going on for seniors to process when they move into an assisted living facility and a lot to keep track of. Be sure they know they should always raise any questions they have with the facility’s staff.
  • Ask questions outside, too.

    • If your senior friend or family member needs to discuss something with their doctor or attorney, assist them in making that happen, or discuss it with them and a staff member to make sure they know who to talk to about it in the future. Anything that can be done for their empowerment will be helpful.