COVID-19 has changed the way we all live. From telehealth appointments to in-home offices, our society is functioning as well as we can while trying to maintain the health and safety of our communities. For many families who have had loved ones living in long-term care facilities, that meant bringing them home.
If you are one of the large number of families that have chosen to decrease the exposure of coronavirus to an elderly loved one and provide the day-to-day caregiving, you have probably already considered how the transition will go and how you need to prepare. Here are some expert tips that can help you make that transition as smooth as possible.
- Get to know your loved one’s routine as it is now – If your loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, big changes from familiar routines can trigger outbursts, anger and confusion. You can help alleviate the stress by understanding your loved one’s current routine and working to maintain that once they have moved into your care.
- Pay attention to familiarity – For instance, if your loved one has a favorite chair in their room at the facility, consider getting a similar chair in your home. If they are used to listening to jazz music during dinner, replicate that environment. If they watch a specific tv show or movie before bed, help set that up to help them transition to sleep easier. Familiarity will comfort your loved one and decrease stressful and upsetting situations.
- Prep the home for their physical needs – Long term facilities are built with the needs of the elderly in mind. Typical homes are not. Consider how your loved one will move around in the home. Will they have to climb stairs to get to different rooms of the home? Is the bathroom conveniently located nearby? Is the bathroom set up to accommodate their personal needs? Has clutter been resolved to decrease safety risks? If you are unsure of how the home should be arranged, talk to a health care provider and ask for tips on what you need to do to make sure the home is prepared for senior care.
- Consider home care services – A great way to learn how to take care of your senior loved ones is to watch experts do it! In home care providers have excellent skills, training and experience in assisting seniors with many different tasks. They have all of the information need to safely:
- Transfer patients from one place to another
- Bath, shower and provide other personal hygiene assistance
- Reduce stress factors and improve comfort and communication
Aside from these services, home care also offers respite support for you, the caregiver, so that you can take a break and relax. They provide companionship and support to seniors who otherwise might not get enough of it. Overall, home care is a large blessing to many caregivers and their families.
Preparing to transition a family member out of long-term care and into your home is a big move and absolutely stressful. Ease some of the stress and anxiety by putting together a game plan and considering the resources that can help you plan successfully.