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28 Nov 2016

Tips For Transitioning From One Facility To Another

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Transitioning a loved one to a different facility can be difficult and present a new set of challenges; so much so that there is a term for it: relocation stress syndrome or transfer trauma. The extent of the symptoms varies by person, but they can include sadness, anger, irritability or anxiousness. Behaviour changes can also occur and can include complaining, combativeness and even screaming. Physiological symptoms include, but are not limited to, confusion, rapid heartbeat, nausea and falling.

Transitioning To Another Facility

It is particularly challenging for those who do not have a choice in the matter. It is also particularly taxing on seniors with cognitive impairments as the disruption in routine can be disorienting. However, it may be comforting to know that it is possible to minimize the stress that comes with this transition.

Tips For Transitioning From One Facility To Another:

  • Involve Them In The Decision (For Caregivers)

    For caregivers, it is important that you involve the person in the decision to move, even if the decision was not one they would have made if given the choice. Giving them some level of control, whether it’s choosing the facility or a room in the facility, provides some stability and can lessen the effects. This also applies to those with cognitive impairments. If they know they have played a role in the decision, this can make for a more positive transition.

  • Address Their Concerns

    It is important to address any concerns that the individual has with moving and to try your best to resolve them.

  • Do Not Relocate Too Quickly & Keep Routine The Same

    If possible, it is better to relocate slowly. Perhaps the individual spends an afternoon at the new facility once a week. In addition, it is very important that their routine in the new facility is as similar as possible to the routine they had at the last facility. Even making their new look similar can be comforting.

  • Visit And Participate In Facility Activities Beforehand

    Part of not relocating too quickly is not only visiting the facility but also getting involved in some way, such as having dinner. This will help them to get used to the people at the facility.

  • Take an Active Role In The Move (For Caregivers)

    Helping your parent to get involved, by providing a sense of normalcy, can help in the transition as well.

  • Seek Professional Help

    It can be helpful to bring in an additional professional, such as a social worker specifically trained to deal with relocation trauma, who can work with the elderly individual. Getting them involved before the move can also be crucial as they can determine if a facility is a good fit and would be beneficial.

C-Care Health Services offers a variety of affordable, personalized and high quality services. Contact us today for more.

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