Long-Term Care Facilities

5 Ways to Adjust to Living in a Long-Term Care Facility

When a person goes to live in a long-term care facility for the first time, there is a great deal of adjustment, and this can be a potentially stressful time. To help minimize the stress and make this a smooth transition, there are a number of things that can be done before and during this move. With a few simple steps, it will be easy to make the change to a new living environment.

  1. Prior research: The first thing to do would be to perform a good deal of research on the facility. This decision needs to be made carefully — it’s not something that is rushed. Knowing what to expect at the facility will hopefully eliminate a lot of the stressful anticipation.
  2. Visit the facility: Visiting the facility beforehand and actually meeting with the staff and some residents is another great way to adjust to this change. This will give a person a clear picture of what to expect. This is also a perfect time to have any and all questions answered. Depending on the family members who are involved, doing a visit can also help them. The family can see the facility and hopefully be reassured in knowing that their loved ones will be well cared for.
  3. Pack in advance: Packing needs to be done in advance of the move. By knowing what items to pack, this can be planned out before the actual move. The actual moving day is going to be stressful as it is. There is no need to add the stress of what to bring. Have this all done beforehand so the moving day can be focused on simply getting in and getting settled.
  4. Stay active: Once in the facility, it is often all too easy to isolate oneself inside of the room or apartment. This can easily lead to boredom and depression. The key is to get out and stay active. Meet with other residents and take advantage of everything that is offered at the facility. There are sure to be a wide variety of programs that are happening each day.
  5. Take time: Finally, an important step in adjusting to this change would be to focus on not getting too stressed. Realize that it is a big change and it is acceptable to have emotions tied to this. Whenever there is a change, it takes some time to get completely comfortable with the new situation. If it seems like this transition is taking too long, then talking with someone at the facility or a trusted family member can surely help. They will be able to listen to these concerns and hopefully help to make the transition that much smoother.