Families are the backbone of long-term care and provide almost 80 percent of the care in the United States. When a loved one transitions into any formal care setting, the role of the family becomes substantially more important.
“Being there for Mom and Dad” looks at the important role adult children and families can play when a loved one moves out of the home and into a setting such as an adult family home, assisted living, or skilled nursing facility. Communication is essential, and knowing what to communicate, as well as how to communicate it makes all the difference.
“Nobody can give care like a family can,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources manager. “It’s particularly difficult to entrust a loved one to another’s care. On the one hand we rely on the professional expertise of trained caregivers. On the other hand we often feel we could do it better and want to jump in and do it ourselves.”
“Being there for Mom and Dad” will be held four times in November:
- Nov. 1 – 6:30 p.m. at the South Hill Branch Library, 15420 Meridian E.
- Nov. 6 – 12:10 p.m. at the Pierce County Annex Main Meeting Room, 2401 S. 35th St.
- Nov. 6 – 6:30 p.m. at the Bonney Lake Branch Library, 18501 90th St. E.
- Nov. 13 – 6:30 p.m. at the Lakewood Branch Library, 6300 Wildaire Rd. SW
When the time comes for families to transition a loved one into a long-term care facility, there can be a mix of emotions. Feelings of anxiety, separation, guilt, disappointment, depression and worry are common. The love one may experience the move as in their best interests or they may feel it to be a rejection, a failure or a sign of impending death. It will definitely be a reversal of traditional family roles and that in itself can cause tensions.
“Being there for Mom and Dad” is a conversation that will help families understand the boundaries that have to be established and how the facility and the family can best work together for the benefit of the new resident. Families with loved ones in a long-term care facility or those who expect to have a loved one in a facility in the near future are encouraged to attend. Participating will be the Pierce County Long Term Care Ombudsman and representatives of local long-term care facilities.
The events are free and open to the public. No RSVP is required. For more information call (253) 798-4600. For possible weather postponement call (253) 798-8787.
Bob Riler, Community Connections