North Wales care homes helps launch national guide
Overseeing loved ones moving into care homes can be one of the most emotionally difficult challenges facing older carers, according to a new guide launched by Age Cymru.
‘Making relationships count’ says older carers can often suffer a sense of loss, guilt and worry when their loved one leaves to move into a care home. However, carers can also feel a sense of relief as caring can be so exhausting, especially for those suffering with ill-health.
Cath Peach who manages the Cottage Nursing Home in Mold says: “The guide has been produced at a time when it has never been needed more. The transition into a care home can be difficult at the best of times but the lockdown has brought lots of additional challenges.
“The sayings ‘ll never put you in a home’ or ‘don’t ever put me in a home’ is still said amongst families, even though care homes have changed enormously over the years. Feelings of failure and guilt are huge for some families. It is therefore important that the transition goes as smoothly as possible for everyone involved.
“Many people still think that a care home is where everyone just sit around doing nothing. Well things have changed and we are certainly not like that at The Cottage. This guide will help families get a realistic glimpse of what life is like in care homes today. Our care at The Cottage extends to the families who are a big part of our home and often need reassurance and support just as much as our residents.”
‘Making relationships count’ advises carers going through the process to communicate with the care home as much as possible so that the homes can get to know their new resident and better understand what they do and don’t like, and what matters to them most.
It says the best way to do this is to meet with the key people in the care home such as the manager, the chef, and the activities co-ordinator. Quite often, care homes will assign a staff member to buddy up with a new resident to help them settle into their new home.
The guide advises that you can help settle your loved one by personalising their living space with objects they cherish such books, photographs and pictures, encouraging other relatives and friends to keep in touch by writing or telephoning regularly, and by getting involved in their care plan.
It also advises carers to take care of themselves by sharing their feelings with people they trust, ensuring they get plenty of rest and exercise, and by treating themselves with whatever makes them feel good.
The guide, funded by the Welsh Government, is available in English or Welsh from Age Cymru: www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/our-work/carers/making-relationships-count/ or call 029 2043 1555.