Resource Guide for Family Caregivers
Preparing emotionally for the move to a facility

As Len Koretsky so eloquently describes it in the introduction to this section, facility placement is one of the most difficult decisions that families need to make. Emotions that may arise for family members include:

  • guilt (which can be especially traumatic for spouses)
  • grief (which may often be based on the fear of the unknown)
  • anger (i.e., loss of control)
  • anxiety (letting go of the day to day responsibilities of caregiving and giving them over to others)

There are a number of publications and internet-based resources that focus on the emotional preparation involved in facility placement - for both the family caregiver and the care receiver. The Family Caregivers’ Network’s resource library contains a number of useful publications focusing on the transition from home to facility, including short articles entitled:

  • Making Visits Count
  • Things to do with your family member who is in a care facility
  • Caregiving After Facility Placement
  • Facility Placement: Coping with the Move

In addition, the ElderCare Online website has published two articles that may be of interest:

Finally, as Len Koretsky reflects, while the caregiving role shifts upon facility placement, caregiving does not end. Family members likely will be called upon to provide emotional support, as before or even more than before, and to become advocates for the care receiver. What does being an advocate entail? You will likely have your own ideas based on your experiences to date, but here is a beginning list:·   Getting to know facility staff and the Director of Care

  • Developing good relationships with staff
  • Reinforcing the positives with staff and celebrating what’s good
  • Thinking about ways to resolve conflicts with staff
  • Finding out whether there is a Family Council
  • Finding out how complaints are addressed and resolved
  • Finding out whether there is a family caregivers’ support group within the facility.