Moving in to a Long Term Care facility can be very overwhelming for new residents, especially if they aren’t as open to the idea of being there. The transition can be very hard on the residents and their families so here are some tips for new and existing Long Term Care facility residents to make the most of their time in their new home and to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible:
1. Ask a lot of questions!
Really, as health care professionals, we don’t mind! We do our best to give you all the information we can, but sometimes things get missed! If you don’t know, ask! If you are not sure what to ask, here are some examples of questions you might want to ask: What time is meal time? When is my bath day? What day does the doctor visit? Etc.
You also want to make sure you find out who the best person is to be asking your questions to. Too often, things fall on to deaf ears and although it’s not intentional, your questions might get lost. For example, a Personal Support Working has a lot on their plate and expressing your feelings related to the food choices may not evoke change. However, speaking to the Registered Dietician or Dietary Manager would be more beneficial and give you better odds of seeing a change. If you have a question or concern and you aren’t sure who to ask, don’t be afraid to ask staff for some guidance on who you should be asking.
2. Don’t be afraid to share feedback!
If you find you aren’t happy with something or you have a concern about something, let someone know! Letting things build up is never a good idea, even if it’s something small. The staff in the facility are there to care for you and make sure you are having a comfortable experience so speak up when you feel uncomfortable or when you’re unhappy with something.
3. Get involved in activities!
Long Term Care facilities do a great job of making sure there is plenty for their residents to do and to keep busy. Many homes have live music, happy hour and pub nights! If there is an activity that you enjoy that is not going on in your facility, ask about it! Start a book club, cooking club, or bridge group! If you don’t feel comfortable in large groups, that is okay! There is something for everyone!
The most important thing to remember is to make the best of each day and that the mission of LTC facilities are to make you feel comfortable and to make your stay enjoyable.
“Our residents do not live in our workplace, we work in their home.”