The decision to move a relative into managed care is a tough one. It can represent a dramatic change for any person, especially if they have lived a life of independence. However, just because a move is completed does not mean that people automatically adjust well to their new surroundings.
While many residents do adjust well and make new friends, it is important to remember that they are still part of the family. One of the reasons that people resist going into a home is the feeling that the family is “leaving them behind.” You have heard the old saying “out of sight, out of mind,” right? Well, that applies to people, too.
If your elderly mother or father is no longer living with you or nearby, it is easy to become busy and forget about them. However, they don’t forget about you. If someone in a home is lonely, they will greatly look forward to upcoming visits because it allows them to reconnect with the family. Cancelling a planned visit can be very disappointing and repeated cancellations can even lead to depression and anxiety. Your loved one may even feel that you don’t care about them anymore.
We are all very busy nowadays, but please don’t forget your relatives that no longer live at home. Try to put yourself in their place: if you spend all of your time in an environment you find different from the norm you have enjoyed for many years, people that remind you of your old life can mean a lot. Remember to also include them for family events, such as Christmas dinner.
Seniors also treasure the time they spend with their grandchildren. Remember to regularly bring them along as bonding with grandpa and grandma is also important.
While it may not be possible to see them every week, always remember to share quality time with your elderly loved ones as often as you can.