Making the decision to place a family member into a care home is never easy. It’s common to find the experience upsetting, even when you know you’re doing the right thing for a person you love. However, family members deserve to feel just as safe and supported as the person going into care.
Families may have a number of concerns when their relative is taken into care. Uncertainties around the future, finances and emotions can all impact a person’s well being. So it’s essential that care homes offer support to families to ensure that they’re providing a responsible service.
The Emotional Impact of Placing a Relative Into a Care Home
Family caring plays an essential role in the nursing of older people, even after they’ve been placed into a care home. Family members need to be in a position where they can continue to engage with the person in care and won’t become distant.
Care givers go through a range of emotions after placing their loved ones into a care home. Guilt, self-doubt and depression are just a few of the feelings they may have to deal with. These emotions can lead families to withdraw from the life of someone in care, which will perpetuate the negative thoughts and emotions even further.
A person who has been acting as an essential care giver may also experience feelings of loss and separation after their relative has been taken into care. The removal of a dependent can massively affect the daily life of the carer and leave them feeling lonely or without purpose. Adjusting to these changes can take time and may require additional support.
Traditionally, moving someone to a care home has been regarded as marking the “end” of their family life. In truth, family and friends become even more important after a relative is taken into care. Relatives should never feel like they are simply “visitors” to a care home, but instead that they are continuing to play an active and loving role in the care of their loved one.
What Can Care Homes Do to Support the Families of Their Patients?
As well as ensuring that they support residents, care homes can also work to support families. By taking this approach, care homes can limit the impact that the change will have on the lives of both parties.
Help them choose the right home
The first thing that care providers can do is help the family choose the right home for an incoming resident. A provider, such as Highpoint, may have multiple homes in a certain area and can offer the resident a home that’s close to their family.
Care homes should be looking to build close ties with the resident’s family right from the start of the process. This will give everyone involved the best possible experience throughout the care period.
Care home workers have the experience to offer valuable advice to family and friends. Many people go through exactly the same emotions and processes as they place a family member in a home, and a care worker will know what to say to help them deal with their feelings.
In addition, a care home should reassure the family that their relative is in a safe and loving environment from day one. Explaining how the care home operates and what a typical day looks like for the residents, including interacting with other residents, can really put people’s minds at ease. Family members might also like to know about COVID-19 infection prevention and safe visiting practices so they know what to expect when visiting their loved one.
Knowing that their loved one is in reliable hands with the care home staff will help reinforce that they made the right decision.
Make them welcome
The family and friends of a resident should always be made to feel welcome and able to visit the care home whenever they can. Placing a person into a care home is not about shutting them off from the outside world but rather providing the specialist help they need to continue engaging with it.
Making families welcome means not treating them just as “visitors”, but understanding how important they are for the resident’s well-being. It also means making the necessary visiting arrangements so that families can have the best possible experiences with their relatives.
Help residents with technology
These days, technology is an amazing tool for staying in touch with our friends and family. Assisting care home residents with video calls and online technology is a simple but effective way to boost their well-being.
What Types of Support Do Families Need After Placing Their Loved Ones in a Care Home?
It’s important to remember that family members were likely essential care givers before their relative entered the home. Respecting that they know their family member best is an important step for building trust and offering the family the proper support.
Different people require varying levels of support throughout the time their relative is in care. Taking the time to learn what a family member requires is a process that can have a significant positive impact on their well-being.
Nearly all families will require some level of emotional support for the first days of their loved one’s residency. The relationships between family members may also be strained if there were disagreements about the best way to care for their relative.
In any case, providing accurate advice to the families and being transparent about the resident’s care plan will help put their worries to rest. However, it’s also worth remembering that some people may require more in-depth consultations with mental health professionals if they are really struggling to come to terms with the change in their lives.
Contact Highpoint Care Today To Find Out More About Our Support Networks
At Highpoint Care, we take the time to understand the needs of families, as well as the person coming into our care. To find out more about our approach to care and discover our state-of-the-art facilities in Liverpool, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.