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Transitioning into Long-Term Care: Anxiety is Normal, Here’s What to Expect

Posted by Chad Seiter | Jun 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

Transitioning a loved one into long-term care often feels like standing on the precipice of a great unknown. The familiar rhythms of daily life give way to the structured routines of a facility, and with it comes a flood of emotions—chief among them, anxiety. Yet, it's in this swirling uncertainty that families can find a pathway to peace, understanding that such feelings are entirely natural.

Understanding the Need for Long-Term Care

The decision to move a loved one into long-term care is seldom made lightly. It arrives after a careful reckoning with the stark realities of aging and declining health. Local nursing homes typically assess the need for assistance with six Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): bathing, dressing, toileting, transference, eating, and continence. These benchmarks, though clinical, are essential in determining the level of care required, ensuring that the individual receives the support they need to live safely and comfortably.

Steps to Ease the Transition

  1. Engage a Senior Living Advisor: In the labyrinthine world of senior care, a knowledgeable guide can be invaluable. A senior living advisor helps families explore various levels of care, from independent living to memory care to long-term care, pinpointing what is most appropriate for their loved one's specific needs.

  2. Visit Facilities Together: The unknown breeds fear. By visiting potential facilities together, families can demystify the process. Walking through the halls, seeing the rooms, and meeting the staff can transform an abstract concept into a tangible, less intimidating reality.

  3. Personalize Their Space: In a new environment, familiar items serve as anchors to the past. Bringing cherished photos, a favorite chair or a beloved quilt can make the new space feel more like home.

  4. Stay Connected: Even in the most welcoming of facilities, feelings of isolation can creep in. Regular visits, phone calls, and video chats provide a lifeline, maintaining strong family bonds and offering emotional support.

  5. Communicate Openly: Transparency is key. Encouraging your loved one to voice their feelings, fears, and expectations can foster a sense of agency and reassurance. It's in these conversations that families can offer the most potent comfort—understanding.

Professional Support

At Darpel Elder Law, we recognize the profound emotional and logistical complexities involved in transitioning to long-term care. Our team stands ready to offer guidance on legal and financial aspects, ensuring that this significant life change proceeds smoothly. If long-term care is deemed appropriate, a conversation with Darpel Elder Law can open avenues for Medicaid planning, even if no prior planning has been done.

In the end, it's important to remember that anxiety during this transition is not only normal but expected. With the right approach, support, and professional guidance, you can help your loved one navigate this new chapter with dignity and grace.

About the Author

Chad Seiter

Attorney at Law


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