While we all wish our loved ones could spend every day of their lives independent and in the comfort of their own home, this is sometimes simply not possible. Making the decision to place your aging parent or another relative into a nursing home can feel like a betrayal. However, in many cases, it is completely necessary and truly understandable.
The good news is that even if you had to place your loved one into a nursing home, you can still be there for them. While you might not be their primary caregiver anymore, you are still an important part of their life. Here at the Tacoma Elder Care, we help families prepare for end of life care and other important long-term planning. When you need an elder lawyer in Pierce County, we hope you will turn to us. We value every client as if they were our own family member and can help you make the right legal decisions for your elderly loved one.
Accept the Change
Seeing a loved one enter a nursing home can be a very emotional experience. You may feel guilty for not being able to offer them the independence they once had. You may feel sad as you watch the changes they may go through. You might also feel relieved that you are no longer bearing the burden of being their primary caregiver.
These emotions and more are completely normal. Allow yourself time to grieve, be angry, or process any other feelings relating to the change. If you are carrying guilt over their move, allow yourself grace and realize that no one is responsible for the complete care of another human. If you are struggling with accepting the change, consider seeking help from a trained therapist. They can help you process the situation so that you are better equipped to help your loved one.
Help with the Transition Period
While your loved one’s move to a nursing home may be difficult for you to process, it is probably even more so for them. They may feel scared, sad, angry, frustrated, and potentially even defeated by this change. The transition period is the hardest for most seniors as it feels like a loss of independence. During this period, try to help as much as you can by offering support, patience, and a listening ear.
You can also help them as they transition into their new home by providing as much from their previous life as possible. Put together photo albums with all their favorite photos. Bring the items they treasure the most from their house to the nursing home. While they most likely won’t have space for everything from their old life, you can still help them decorate and make their new room feel more like home.
Try to be a Proactive Part of their Life
Once your loved one has settled into a nursing home or care facility, be sure you strive to continually be a part of their life. Take proactive steps to ensure they do not feel forgotten. If possible, visit at least once a week so they have a friendly face to look forward to. If you are far away, write letters and make phone calls to them frequently.
Encourage them to get involved in activities at the nursing home and to make new friends. Keep checking up on how they are feeling and how they are being treated to ensure they are receiving proper care.
Small gifts can go a long way in helping them feel special and to make sure they don’t feel forgotten as well. Don’t forget important dates, such as birthdays and holidays. By providing continued support for your loved one, you can help them feel like they have retained the best parts of their life.
Seek Legal Help When Needed
Nursing homes are often an excellent choice for those who have increased medical needs that cannot be met by family members. During this stage of your loved one’s life, it is important to make sure everything is in order for their end of life care. Don’t hesitate to seek legal help to ensure their assets are protected, their wishes honored, and their medical care amply covered.
Here at Tacoma Elder Care, we can help you with finding the right resources for your loved one. We can assist you with putting together the right legal documents for your loved one’s needs. Be sure to schedule your FREE consultation today.