Monthly Archives: January 2016

Visiting Too Much or Not Enough: How Often to Visit Aging Loved Ones in Assisted Living

nursing home visits

What is too often or not enough when it comes to visiting your loved one at their new assisted living home?  Many families we work with at Choice Health Management struggle with this very same question.  If you visit too often, are you preventing your loved one from getting to know the other residents?  If you don’t visit enough, are you causing your loved one to feel abandoned?  If you’re struggling with how often to visit, try going through these steps to determine just the right amount of visits!

  1. Communicate

The first thing to do is discuss visit frequency with your loved one.  If they are new to the assisted living facility, they may ask that you visit every day, in which you may respond with a compromise of every other day or twice a week.  On the other hand, your loved one may ask that you visit just once per month, in which you may be more comfortable visiting them every other week.  You’ll need to talk through this with your loved one to determine a schedule that works for both of you.

  1. Other Ways to Stay in Touch

Determine what other ways you can stay in touch with your loved one.  Remind your loved one that you are available via phone, email, text or video chat if possible.  In this instance, you and your family may consider getting your loved one a cell phone so they can reach out whenever they need to.

  1. Offer Support

Keep in mind that your loved one may be experiencing different emotions related to his/her move and needs your support.  Be available for and listen to his/her needs.  You may be surprised to hear that he/she wants to adjust the schedule to accommodate a regular meeting or walk around the grounds with new friends.

Overall, the key is communication.  Make sure your loved one knows you are available and there for support.  We know the transition can be difficult, which is why we are here to help.  Contact Choice Health Management if you have any questions!

 

 

4 Areas to Examine on Visit to Aging Family Member

home inspection

Are you saddled with the difficult task of caring for a loved one from a few hours away?  Maybe during your last visit, you noticed some changes in your loved one that were cause for concern.  This is a common situation for many of the families we work with and the experts at Choice Health Management are here to help.

Here are 4 areas of decline to watch for when visiting an aging loved one:

Home Upkeep

When you visit your loved one’s home, be sure to look at monthly bills.  If you notice bills that are unopened or hidden away, you may need to step in to make sure those bills are taken care of each month.  Another area of the home to examine is the appliances.  Is your aging parent turning the stove completely off after use, are dishes being cleaned after use and is the laundry being done?

Physical Condition

Ask your loved one about their sleep and meal schedule.  When you visit, watch for weight gain or loss, if he/she is walking normally or if he/she has any pain.  Watch for odd behavior and be sure to address your concerns with their doctor.

Emotional State

Does your loved one still go out and socialize at church, the salon or grocery store?  Does he/she still make meals, keep the house tidy and follow normal personal hygiene?  These are also areas to watch for decline.

Taking Medicine

Many of the elderly do not enjoy taking medicine.  Watch for unused prescriptions or expired medicine to see whether or not your loved one is taking their medicine.  If you can, try to get a list from their doctor on what they should be taking so that you can provide that to your loved one and help them stay organized when it comes to their prescriptions.

If you notice decline in any of these areas, be sure to contact your loved one’s doctor right away.  The doctor may recommend a transition to an assisted living facility nearby.

We know the transition can be complicated so please reach out to Choice Health Management for help on how to facilitate this life change.  Contact us today and let us know how we can help!

 

 

Dealing with the Emotions of Moving a Loved One to an Assisted Living Facility

emotions of assisted living

Moving a loved one to an assisted living facility can be hard on the whole family.  Whether you had to make this decision due to a drastic change in health or a planned move agreed upon by all family involved, feelings of guilt, grief or judgement can become a big problem.  At Choice Health Management, we believe social and emotional support make all the difference in our care, and yours.

Here are 3 steps you can take to deal with your emotions and provide emotional support for your resident loved one:

  1. Develop a care partnership – Remember that the care you provide for your loved one doesn’t end when your loved one moves to an assisted living facility, it simply changes. Transform your caregiving into a partnership between your family and the nursing staff.
  2. Make it personal – To help your loved one adapt to their new environment, bring personal items from home, share information about your loved one with the nursing staff, show appreciation for the staffs hard work and plan for an adjustment period where your loved one may be sad, angry or confused. Residents often take a few weeks to adjust, but they will utilize their coping strengths to adapt.
  3. Keep a positive attitude – When visiting, be sure to express your concerns privately and try to build a good relationship with the facility staff. Try to visit frequently and create a plan for your first visits, which may help you and your loved one adapt.  This could include bringing a gift for your loved one as a small reminder of your visit, touch your loved one, listen to them and pay attention to them, bring books or magazines (with large print if possible), show them photos and reminisce about old times.  Remember that no matter how the visit goes, your presence there is the most important thing.

Overall, you are still your loved one’s most important caregiver, your care just evolves to less hands on care and more loving, emotional care.

We know this transition can be very hard on the family, and we want to do everything we can to make you and your loved one comfortable at our facilities. Call us today, and let us know how we can help.

How to Encourage Your Loved One to Move to Assisted Living

move to assisted living

Are you worried about your aging loved one living at home independently and wish to move them into assisted living, but they don’t agree?  We understand that the decision can be incredibly difficult for many families, especially if the aging loved one is resisting what the family recommends.  Here are gentle ways to help your loved one make the decision to move into an assisted living facility.

Focus on gaining, not losing.

Your loved one may be focused on the idea of losing independence and the warm home they have lived in for decades.  Help your loved one to see the things they will be gaining from moving to an assisted living facility.  This could be new friends, fun activities or peace of mind.

Giving a gift to you.

Let your loved one know that the current living situation is a huge source of worry for you and the rest of the family, and that him/her accepting help would be a wonderful gift to you all.

It’s not permanent.

Instead of deciding that this is a permanent move, encourage your loved one to simply try out the assisted living facility.  Take your loved one on visits to the assisted living facility and introduce him/her to nurses and residents there.

Doctor’s orders.

Be sure to discuss your concerns with your loved one’s doctor.  If he/she agrees, your loved one’s doctor may be able to recommend to the patient some assistance in the form of an assisted living facility.

Overall, we recommend encouraging your aging loved ones to receive appropriate care, whether that is moving to an assisted living facility or simply adding accessibility equipment to their home, but avoid force and ultimately, try to respect your loved one’s wishes.

If you and your aging loved one have come to the decision to move to an assisted living facility, we hope you choose Choice Health Management. Call us today, and let us know how we can help.