Your parents have always been there; they have cared for you and watched you grow. For so long, they have been the ones taking the lead and making decisions. There were times things might have been tough but, for those of us who were lucky enough, our parents guided and helped us through it all.
Now, it might be a time you haven’t thought about all that much; alternatively, this might have been something that you saw coming for a long time. Whether your parents have reached an age where everyday tasks are too hard for them to do alone, or if they have been ill for a while and finding a safe, supportive environment for them to live in has been on the cards, it’s never going to be easy to actually make the transition.
Whatever the reason you are looking into retirement homes, all we can do is look out for their best interests and hope to make the right decisions for them going forward.
Speak to them
When it becomes time to start looking at retirement and assisted care facilities, don’t be afraid to step back from all the research. For a moment, forget the cost and the reviews and just sit and speak to your parents. It’s easy to get lost in brochures and Facebook pages, glancing again and again at the images of that new pool installed and how happy the current residents all look, but at the end of the day your parents are the ones who will be moving in.
A huge feeling of growing up will surely take place over this time in your life. You might have felt it wasn’t possible to have much more ‘feeling older’ to do, but putting your parents in the right care facility is sure to give you more perspective. It’s important to have friends and family around you at this time; you need to feel supported too.
Some things to look for
When deciding on the right place, it’s important to know that your parents will receive a good level of care.
- If your parents require any specific support or might do in the future, make sure that that support is provided.
- Another good idea is to look at the recent inspection report from the home; you can find this by either asking for it or looking it up on the CQC website.
- Read through the brochure, website, and social media pages to make sure you like the look of the place.
- If your parents have particular interests, you could check that the home provides certain activities or entertainment.
- Of course, you also need to check vacancies and get on any available waiting lists.
- Check if the home currently has any vacancies. If it does not, find out how long the waiting list currently is.
When going for a visit, it is important you allow yourself to get a good feel for the place. Try to talk to lots of different members of staff and speak to the manager. It would also be a good chance to speak to residents if possible and see how they like it. Have a good look at a range of rooms and ask yourself would you be comfortable there?
When going on a tour of the facility, it is a good idea to have some key questions planned out to make sure you don’t forget to check anything; some good questions to ask include;
- Is there a doctor on-site?
- What are the facilities like?
- Are the rooms cleaned regularly?
- What is the ratio of staff to patients?
- What activities are provided? Some homes have lots more activities compared to others, for example, assisted living scottsdale
- Are the rooms well decorated?
- Do residents have a named member of staff who is particularly responsible for their care?
- If your needs change or increase, can they still be met in the same home?
It is also a good idea to go over the fee structure in order to understand what is and is not included in the basic fee and the costs of any additional amenities or services. It is definitely a good idea to have a budget in mind.
Expect some setbacks; this is a huge transition not just for your parents but for you as well. For some, there will be a huge sense of relief knowing they are receiving round-the-clock care; for others, though, this may bring on a huge sense of guilt. It’s okay to feel relief, and it’s okay to feel guilty. Just remember you are doing the right thing.
Make sure to take plenty of things to make the move as relaxed as possible. Make their surroundings are somewhat familiar to them by bringing their old photos, books, that teddy bear that surely should have fallen apart by now, and all their clothes. Being surrounded by their own belongings is a great way to start them getting used to their new environment. It’s important to go over with staff the requirements your family has and give all medications over.
Make sure you allow your parents to get into a new healthy routine. They need to get used to the new place and how things work there. This doesn’t, however, mean that you should hugely limit visiting times. Instead, it’s best to ease them into their new schedule. Try to keep them to regular times. It’s hard but often the case that when people are first put in homes, they get lots of visitors and over time that slowly stops. It’s important to try avoiding this by always visiting regularly.
Hopefully, this article has given you some guidance on the dos and don’ts of this huge change. It’s always going to be a difficult time so try to find some opportunity for yourself to gather your thoughts and look to the future in the knowledge that you have done the right thing for your family.