Helping Your Elder Adapt to a Residential Facility
After coming to grips with the difficult tasks of caregiving to your elderly one at home, you might find it necessary to place him/her into a residential care center. Once you have chosen the proper facility for your elder, be it a best assisted living in Little Rock facility or nursing home, all you will have to handle the challenges of adapting to brand-new routines.
Some facilities have a "30 Day Rule" which allows them to choose whether your elder "fits in" with their facility. The 30 Day Rule seems more than reasonable to many people. If a patient is going to reveal signs of adjustment the facility will be able to make the suitable decision. This safeguards them from needing to keep people they definitely can't manage in their environment and who might hurt other residents.
The large majority of people with dementia have trouble with adapting to a new home environment. For at least two weeks the person can't find things, is besieged with new people and routines and has feelings of disappointment and/or anger. There are some ways to assist your loved one adjust:
1. Expect agitation for 2-3 weeks. You may ask your elder's doctor for a light prescription for Ripserdal, Haldol, or Seroquel and utilize it for a couple of weeks (in a VERY light dose) BEFORE the placement. The patient may be confused, but not upset and agitated.
2. Do not always prevent going to for 2 weeks, despite the fact that the centers suggest this. Follow a formula something like the following:
A. Expect the person to be agitated and upset, but stop beating yourself about it. You did what had to be done. Your loved one has to grieve. To expect happiness is unrealistic.
B. Plan a QUICK visit. 10-15 minutes will be enough for you to know your loved one is well-cared for and to give them peace of mind. A 3-hour visit is going to cause agitation. If the loved one demands to be taken home, DON'T try to explain. Take a look at your watch and say, "I need to go now." It will break your heart, but will reduce the behavior after a few times. Numerous clients begin the "take me home" things after a 30 minute visit when they get tired. Take it as an indication that it is time to go.
C. Take something to do. Do their nails, have a snack, pay attention to a new piece of music or share an activity. When you are done, it is time to go. Have the personnel divert your loved one to an activity such as a meal.
D. Call prior to you come so you know exactly what type of day your loved one is having. If you understand they are upset and having a bad day and if you cannot face it without becoming upset, don't go when they are agitated ... or go later on.
E. Talk with the staff. Smile. Discover the personnel doing something right and complement at least one on each visit. There is absolutely nothing worse than the family who comes in with their microscope searching for flaws. They will become apparent soon enough-- we are talking working with demented adults here. Gain more understanding for your friends and family so that you can help them out when they inquire about this; you can do it by visiting here.
F. Know that the center and personnel have no magic for dealing with behavior problems. If it was challenging to manage at home, it will be worse in the care facility-- especially with 7+ other people who are also demented.
G. Before you leave, talk with an administrative staff member to see how things are going and what you (as a team) can do to improve care throughout the adjustment.
H. I can not stress this too much: pick an activity-based program! And, if your loved one is not a socializer, make certain the staff understands to let him have some time to himself daily and introduce him slowly to the group.
I. Last, do not let the adjustment period dissuade you from the placement. It most likely will work out.