For many families, the time comes when our loved one needs additional support and the move to skilled nursing is the right decision. Even so, and even our loved one is looking forward to the move, the transition can be challenging for everyone, including caregivers.
Knowing how the move is likely to play out and having a plan for dealing with strong emotions that may arise can be beneficial. By acknowledging your emotions, establishing a visit schedule, practicing self-care, and communicating openly, you can navigate this journey with more confidence and grace. Trust in the professionals and remember that your decision is ultimately rooted in providing the best possible care and quality of life for your loved one.
Choosing a skilled nursing community that is a good fit for you and your loved one can provide solace and support as well. Here at Green House Homes at Mirasol, our model offers a unique care environment that includes person-directed living practices that extends to seniors, family members, caregivers, and provider organizations. The Green House Homes Model was created by Dr. William Thomas, founder of The Eden Alternative®, and is based on three fundamental core values: Meaningful Life, Empowered Staff and Real Home. Our mission is to offer skilled-nursing care that looks and feels like a real home.
Navigating the Transition to Skilled Nursing
Will you be helping a loved one select the right skilled nursing community? Will you then help them prepare for the move and ultimately get them settled in their new community? If so, as their caregiver, you can expect a wide range of feelings as you move through the process. Here are some tips to cope with the transition of your loved one to skilled nursing:
1. Acknowledge your Emotions
No matter how wonderful the new community is, it’s very common for a caregiver to feel some regret and/or remorse about moving them out of their house (or yours) and into a new living arrangement. In the same way that you are reassuring them that this is the right long-term strategy, you should keep reminding yourself of that fact as well. It’s entirely normal to experience a range of emotions from relief to regret, guilt to anxiety. Give yourself permission to feel all the emotions without judgment.
2. Establish a Visitation Routine
Work with the staff to establish a visitation routine that suits both you and your loved one. Knowing when and how often you’ll be able to see them can provide a sense of continuity and comfort for both you and your loved one. Visiting often can also alleviate any concern you may have about their wellbeing. It’s normal for you to have questions in your mind, especially early in the transition. Is your loved one being cared for properly? Are staff members in their care community attending to their needs? Is the property safe and secure? Will you be contacted promptly if any issue arises? Because you have chosen a top-quality community, like Green House House Homes at Mirasol, the answer to all these questions is surely, “Yes!”
3. Trust the Professionals
While you are intentionally accepting the assistance of the skilled nursing setting, it may still feel uncomfortable to no longer have the same level of input into your loved one’s daily activities. Focusing on the fact that they are in good hands will help. Skilled nursing communities like Green House Homes are designed to provide compassionate, person-centered care with the skill and expertise needed to take care of your loved one’s physical and emotional needs.
4. Prioritize Self Care
As you start to think about what you’ll do with the additional time you’ll have available to pursue your own interests and activities, you may feel a strange mix of excitement and guilt. Keep in mind that your loved one surely appreciates all you’ve done for them to date and will want you to pursue your passions wholeheartedly. Self care is critical throughout this process. Caregiver burnout is a real concern, so make self-care a priority. Take breaks, engage in activities you enjoy, and seek emotional support when needed. A well-supported caregiver is better equipped to provide the best care.
Your Partner in Enabling a Smooth Transition
Our team at Green House Homes at Mirasol understands what you’re going through in moving your loved one into a skilled nursing community. It’s a very significant life milestone for both of you, and we’re eager to assist with the transition every step of the way. Plus, once your loved one is settled, we ensure that both you and our new resident are comfortable with their environment and confident they are getting attentive and compassionate care.