3 Ways to Ease Moving Your Loved One into an Assisted Living Center
According to the National Center For Assisted Living (NCAL), the average stay at an assisted living facility is 22 months, followed by 60 percent moving onto a skilled nursing facility. Obviously, most assisted living residents are moving from their own personal residents, and the transition can be difficult, adding extra stress for everyone. Here are three tips to make the transition as smooth as possible for this potentially difficult time in life.
Ideally, all family members will be able to be enlisted to assist with everything that needs to be handled before the move. This way, no one is overwhelmed with too much responsibility. This isn't always possible, however, as some family members may live out of town. Try to schedule a regular time where everyone can get together and determine who will be responsible for what, being sure to include your loved one in the conversation and decision making as much as they are able.
Decide who will serve as the primary point-of-contact with the assisted living center. Other things to discuss include things such as:
- Who will oversee the financial aspects, writing checks and paying bills?
- Who will oversee the health insurance? Remember HIPPA laws can be difficult to work around and permission needs to be given by Mom or Dad to discuss their health issues. This is best handled by one person.
- Who will oversee sorting through their belongings? Who will pack? Do family members want to divide up the furniture, etc. or is an estate sale in everyone's best interest?
Address the Legal Issues
While this isn't an easy discussion to have, it is imperative that everyone is on the same page. Is the will in order, or is a living will required? Has your parent determined their feelings on what, if any, lifesaving interventions they want implemented should they become ill? You may need to have a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) or Do Not Intubate order put in place if Mom or Dad has decided they don't want any medical interventions.
There should also be a Health Care Directive in place that spells everything out in terms of what their personal health care plan will be. Oftentimes, these decisions are more difficult for family members than it is for your loved one, but these are important decisions to put in place if you want to prevent problems down the line.
Decide What Will Go With Them
Your parent's room should not be stark or give them the impression they are just being housed until they die. Bring along Dad's favorite chair. Hang photos of the grandchildren on the wall. Make sure Mom has her favorite afghan. The room should have plenty of personal touches and favorite things to make their room feel as much like home as possible.