How to Support Caregivers During Resident Transitions Into Senior Care Facilities

Transitioning someone into a residential senior care setting is stressful not only for the resident, but also for family members who have been caring for their loved one. While senior care communities should focus on ensuring that the transition is smooth for residents, it’s equally important to provide support for caregivers during the transition process as well.

Why Resident Transitions Are Stressful to Caregivers

Lisa Rhoads Headshot

Lisa Rhoads, vice president of operations at CareOne

Caregivers may experience many sources of stress when their loved one transitions into a residential senior care setting. Lisa Rhoads, vice president of operations at CareOne, an integrated healthcare network of assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, explains that caregivers may feel stress due to the shift in responsibility for their loved one’s care. “Moving can be stressful for everyone,” she says. “Relocating a loved one into an assisted living or a senior care facility might be a similar experience to a parent whose child is moving into college.”

Finding a senior care community that’s a good fit can help ease the transition and reduce stress. Rhoads recommends that families conduct thorough research, speak with the staff, visit a facility of interest, and become familiar with the services offered. “The right community feels like home the second you step through the doors,” she says.

During the transition, caregivers may experience an array of emotions. Some might feel anxious about whether they’re making the right decision to place a loved one into senior care. With time, that doubt can become relief. “Caregivers are comforted knowing that a group of people are dedicated and focused on helping their loved one,” explains Rhoads. “So, caregivers may feel relieved knowing that their loved one is doing well and getting the support they need.”

How Senior Care Communities Can Support Family Members and Caregivers

Senior care communities should seek to provide assistance to residents and their families not only during the transition into the community, but also throughout every stage of the aging journey. “Being open and honest is important for a resident to settle into their new environment,” says Rhoads. “It’s also imperative to support the family so they feel comfortable with the process.”

Rhoads explains that CareOne focuses on providing unique assistance to each resident based on their own individual journey. “We work with them to ensure they receive individualized care based on their unique needs, diagnoses, and conditions,” Rhoads says.

She also highlights the importance of communicating with a resident’s family members when delivering that personalized care. “We have frequent touch base calls with families to update them on how their loved one is doing,” she says. “We also share photos of their loved ones enjoying activities and socializing. The best gift to give a family is reassurance that their loved one is living their life to the fullest and is well taken care of.”

Additionally, staff encourage families to visit and to attend events as often as possible. Staff also focus on maintaining those open lines of communication with family members, which can be reassuring for family members in between their visits with their loved one.

Supporting caregivers during their loved one’s transition into a senior care facility is ultimately essential for the well-being of both the resident and their family. By recognizing and addressing their needs, senior care communities can bring reassurance and peace of mind to the caregivers and ease the resident transition process.

Topics: Activities , Facility management , Featured Articles , Operations