Elderly Care Ann Arbor: How to Make The Transition Easier for Everyone!
Is your parent a little apprehensive about moving into a retirement community?
The transition from living at home with limited care to elderly care can be one of the most difficult decisions families and their loved ones have to make. When a family member can’t take care of themselves, it can put a heavy burden on those they love. Many people aren’t up to the task of the daily care their loved one may require.
Moving can be a pain, especially if you’re not used to change. At Hillside Terrace, we want to ensure that you or your parent settle into your new home with ease.
A Place for Mom suggests “when it comes to moving elderly parents and broaching the ‘nursing home’ or ‘assisted living’ conversation, experts like Stella Henry, R.N., author of The Eldercare Handbook (HarperCollins, 2006) say ‘this is probably one of the hardest decisions a child will ever have to make.’ Henry, an eldercare specialist who has been featured in Time, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, says many seniors ‘unrealistically believe they can take care of themselves for the rest of their lives.’ And that's where their children or other family members can be instrumental in identifying the problem and instigating change.
No matter what the age of your parent, Henry and other experts say now is the time to begin communicating about the future. If you open the lines of communication early on, she says, words like ‘nursing home’ lose their sting later on. That's important, considering that most of Henry's clients approach her with little communication groundwork laid.
‘Ninety-five percent of my clients come to me in crisis situations,’ says Henry. The result? Confused elders, disorganized yet well-meaning children, and a family in chaos.”
Prepare for the Move!
If you’re not sure how to prepare your loved one for the move to elderly care in Ann Arbor, we’ve provided some tips below to make the transition easier:
1. Help your parent pack up their belongings.
This won’t be an easy mission, but it has to be done. You may come across things you can’t bring yourself to get rid of, and that’s okay. Rent a storage space for extra room if necessary. You really can collect some treasures throughout the years, you never know what you could throw away. It’s important to go through everything.
2. Throw your parent a farewell party.
Throw your parent a party celebrating the time that they’ve spent in their home. They will appreciate one last hurrah for old times’ sake!
3. Create a familiar environment that he or she is used to seeing on a daily basis.
Decorate their room with pictures, and mementos from years past. Hang their favorite artwork. Ensure that their space is roomy and that it’s a space they will feel comfortable in while you’re away.
4. Know what you need to pack and put in storage.
Be aware of the things that a retirement home provides already so you don’t pack unnecessary appliances, furniture, etc.
5. Get to know your liaison for any questions or concerns you may have.
You can’t always be there to watch your loved one, so ensure that you have a contact for any questions or concerns you may have. As time goes on, you may have questions or need special accommodations. In that case, it’s good to know someone who you can go to directly for answers.
6. Ensure your parent’s medications will be handled.
If your parent is unable to remember to take medications on their own, ensure that there’s someone on the elderly care staff who’s in charge of keeping track of medicine(s). If all else fails, there is new technology that can help remind your loved one when to take their medicine on a daily basis. Read more below.
Tech Gadgets That Can Ease Your Worry While You’re Away
Trust is an important factor when placing your family member under someone else’s care. We understand that you can’t always be there for your loved one and it can be stressful. However, if there was a way to alleviate some of that stress would you try it?
There are many gadgets out there that can help you send reminders to your loved one to take their medicine, emergency alert systems, and even ways to share medical information with other family members with the press of a button.
A Place For Mom suggests a few cool tech gadgets that are out there today, providing independence to our parents, and valuable peace of mind for us as caregivers:
- Medication Management Devices-
- S.O.S Safety Devices-
- Medic alert-like pendants and wristbands- These can be pressed during an emergency to alert professionals and/or family members.
- Sensors like BeClose, Evermind and Lively attach to objects your parents use most: the bed, a toaster, the bathroom, front door or favorite chair, for instance. You can remotely determine what circumstances merit notification.
- Making Care Easier or CaringBridge are websites used for sharing resources and information with family members. You can even synchronize your iPhone or iPad to the websites!
- grandCare- With a large touch screen, residents at home or in long term care have video chats with family, get the news, play games, check the calendar, visit websites, send instant messages, and share photos.”
Would you be willing to try some of these new tech gadgets to alleviate some of your stress? You’ll be surprised at how new technology can help eliminate certain challenges you face when caring for your loved one.
Dealing with Guilt
Often, children will feel guilt about moving their loved one into a retirement community, no matter what the circumstances. Whether you promised you’d never put your mother or father into a long-term care facility, you need to think about what is best for them in the long term. What kind of life will they live? Is a retirement community the best option for your parent?
A Place for Mom suggests "putting a parent in a nursing home is the most loving act that a child can do because it improves the quality of the parent's life from medical and social perspectives.” They may not realize it now, but sooner or later many parents will realize that you moved them into a retirement community because you were looking out for their best interest.
If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, it’s important to set your feelings aside when you’re visiting. That way they’re less likely to pick up on your emotions, and less likely to make your visits unpleasant. If you need help dealing with guilt, don’t hesitate to speak with a therapist to help get through this tough transition.
Quality Elderly Care in Ann Arbor, Michigan
At Hillside Terrace, we put ourselves into the resident’s and the family’s shoes. We want you to feel right at home! We treat our resident’s and their families the way we’d want to be treated if the roles were reversed.
We’ll help you make a smooth transition into the community of your choosing. We offer the following homes for elderly care in Ann Arbor, including:
For floorplan information and availability, please contact us today at (734) 761-4451.
Elderly Care in Ann Arbor: Make Hillside Terrace Your Home Away From Home!
We can help your family create peace of mind. When you’re at home, you’ll know your loved one is taken care of and in good hands. Hillside Terrace – “Where our family shares life with your family!”
Our "Aging by Choice" philosophy allows a flexibility of options for our residents and their families; you choose what is best for you, and we make it possible. We’re confident in our ability to provide the best quality of care, the security, and the family atmosphere that you’re seeking! We warmly invite you to see the difference we can make when your family shares life with our family. Schedule a tour of Hillside Terrace today– elderly care in Ann Arbor.