Next to our children, senior relatives are the most delicate ones to tell that they may have to move, especially if it is to an elderly home. Usually, these decisions are made when the person or persons living in the home with their elderly relative are no longer able to give them the full attention and care that they need.
Telling your elderly relative about your intention to relocate them can sometimes make them think and feel unloved, unwanted and burdensome to say the least. After all, they are leaving what they considered to be their comfort zone, a place surrounded by family.
Since this is a very sensitive issue for all those involved, one must ensure that when telling the senior about the move, that he goes away with the complete understanding that your decision is in his best interest and has nothing to do with your personal feelings towards him.
On the day that you meet with your senior and the rest of the family, make it abundantly clear about the reasons why he is being relocated. This message can be conveyed in a very calm and quiet manner to avoid conflict. During the conversation, your elderly may put up a wall of resistance or may display his anger at your decision, but it is up to you to keep things civil and quiet by maintaining your composure.
One way to deviate your elderly from his angry feelings is by getting his input on your decision. Ask him how he feels about what you have decided, find out about his fears and concerns and come up with a solution for alleviating them. In addition, your elderly needs to hear the positive things about relocating elsewhere. Talk about the perks of a twenty-four hour caretaker, recreational facilities and of course him being able to fraternize with his peers to spark his interest.
Seniors also need reassurance that when they move, it does not signal the end of the family unit. Therefore it is in your best interest to organize regularly scheduled visits to the elderly when he moves. If there are other family members involved, draw up a visitation schedule so that he can see at least one family member each day and stick to this schedule.
Allow your elderly relative to have the deciding power on where he wishes to stay. Provide him with various options so that he can choose the facility or complex that is right for him. Chances are there may be some amenities and recreational activities provided at the facility that may take his mind of the separation.
If your senior is adamant about staying with you and the topic about moving causes him to get angry and raise his voice, then experts advise that this is the time when you should call for professional help. There are people who are trained to make the move of a senior person a smoother one while it may be stressful for you.
Finally, at the end of the day, never be hard on yourself or feel guilty about the decision you have made with your senior relative. If you cannot offer your elderly relative your undivided attention around the clock, then moving him elsewhere is a good decision. No matter where they go, always remember that they would still be a part of the family.Written by Margarita Hakobyan
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