• Printer Friendly Version
  • Decrease Text Size
  • Increase Text Size
  • PDF

Monday, August 28, 2023

Making the Decision to Transition a Loved One to Long-Term Care

Posted By: Advancing Care

Deciding to place a loved one in a long-term care facility can be a challenging and emotional process. Each caregiver or family may face this decision at various times and for various reasons.

“While guilt may accompany this difficult choice, recognizing when it's the right time and understanding that it's for the best will lead to better outcomes for both the caregiver and the loved one,” says Maureen Torelli, Administrator at St. Josephs Place, a WMCHealth nursing home and rehabilitation center located at Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, N.Y.

Recognizing the need for specialized care, involving your loved one in the decision-making process and planning ahead are essential steps in ensuring a smooth transition.

Recognizing When It's the Right Time

The decision to place a family member in long-term care often revolves around safety concerns and changes in their abilities. 

When your loved one starts to experience a loss of independence, frequent falls, wandering from home or requires round-the-clock care and supervision, it may indicate the need for more specialized care. 

“It's crucial to understand that as a caregiver, you may reach a point where you can no longer manage their care on your own,” says Torelli. “In such cases, long-term care becomes the best option unless you have access to both dependable and reliable home care which can be expensive, very difficult to find, and still may not meet the needs of your loved one.”

Coping with Guilt

“Feeling guilty about transitioning your loved one to long-term care is normal,” says Torelli. “However, knowing that your family member will receive the care he or she needs can help alleviate this feeling.” In a long-term care facility, your loved one will benefit from socialization with peers, engaging activities, medical assistance, medication management and proper nutrition, which can improve their well-being.

Long-term care facilities also offer opportunities for residents to remain independent. They can participate in activities of their choice, have control over their menu and visit family or attend events outside the facility. This level of freedom can contribute positively to their overall health.

Planning Ahead

Deciding to place a loved one in long-term care is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and planning. Before transitioning your family member to long-term care, a few important conversations need to take place. 

Meet with a financial planner to assess finances and insurance and, when speaking with facility staff, discuss advance directives, such as feeding tubes, resuscitation wishes and healthcare proxies. 

“If possible, involve your loved one in these conversations and consider their preferences regarding long-term care facilities. These difficult conversations are necessary and ensure their wishes are respected,” says Torelli.

Remaining Part of the Care Team

Being a caregiver can be an emotionally taxing experience, regardless of your background or medical training. Remember that you are only one person and cannot provide the same level of care as a fully staffed facility. Do not hesitate to seek support from siblings, other family members and trusted individuals involved in your loved one's care. 

Remember that long-term care facilities can offer a nurturing environment that promotes independence and provides your loved one with the care he or she needs. As a caregiver, your support and advocacy remain vital even after the transition to long-term care. 

“Transitioning to long-term care doesn't mean you are no longer involved in their care,” says Torelli. “As a caregiver, you will continue to be an integral part of their care team and advocate for their needs and concerns. This partnership can be a significant source of relief, knowing that your loved one is receiving appropriate care from trained staff.”

Long-term care facilities located in Orange County include Schervier Pavilion in Warwick and St. Josephs Place in Port Jervis. Both facilities recently received a five-star CMS nursing home rating for excellence in specialized care.

To learn more about long-term care services at Schervier Pavilion in Warwick and St. Josephs Place in Port Jervis, visit Schervier Pavilion or St. Josephs Place.