Adjustment to Long Term Care

Moving to a long-term care facility is not easy. It is a difficult decision that usually comes at a time in a person’s life when there have been many changes, turmoil and unknowns. The result of having to move to a long-term care facility may worsen the recent changes and losses for the resident or patient. Many families would say the decision to admit someone they love to a long-term care facility is one of the hardest they have had to make.

For a newly admitted resident or patient, the move to a long-term care facility may feel like he or she has lost his or her independence, role, and peer support. By becoming involved in the decision making, talking openly about the move and the changes, the anxiety of moving can be lessened.

For families of newly admitted residents, the move to a long-term care facility can trigger many questions such as: Have I done the right thing? How will the staff know dad or mom as well as I do? How will they know what he or she needs? Can I forgive myself? For some families these questions continue long after admission, but for most, the trust and connections with staff decrease these concerns and questions.

To help residents, patients and families in the move to long-term care, some suggestions in making the move easier include:

  • Become involved in all decisions related to your or your loved one’s care
  • Share information with the staff and the health care team about yourself and family
  • Ask questions
  • Talk openly about the move
  • Focus on the positive
  • Personalize the resident’s or patient’s room
  • Ensure the resident or patient has enough personal supplies and clothing
  • Get involved in activities of the Resident and Family Council
  • Visit when both resident or patient and family feel comfortable

If you still feel uneasy about your move to long-term care, contact your social worker on the unit. He or she will be able to help with the transition.