November 11, 2016
Families place their loved ones in adult residential care facilities to receive top-notch care and improve their quality of life. Like any major move, the transition to assisted living care is emotional. Families and residents experience anxiety and nervousness about the change, loss of independence and new living arrangements. That is also why adult residential care facilities are so vital to the communities and residents they serve – you provide a new home for these aging individuals. Your organization gives residents and families hope for positive future.
Far too often, families think their role or responsibility completely ends once their loved one enters your care. You know that is far from the truth- residents still NEED their family. In fact, residents with active families lead happier lives, experience improved social and mental well-being and adjust to their new surroundings quickly. As an administrator or owner of an adult residential care facility, it is vital you educate resident’s families on the importance of their presence.
Here are seven ways to keep families involved in resident’s daily lives.
- Encourage phone calls.
Invite family members to call and check in on their loved ones – especially in the early days of their stay. Having this outside connection to their previous life helps ease the adjustment process.
- Schedule family visit days.
Schedule certain days or times for specific families to come and visit the residents. A lot of times, family members get carried away in their life, they forget to make time to visit. Scheduling certain days puts it on their calendar and keeps that time open for the family member.
- Organize family events.
Monthly celebrations are a great way to keep family traditions alive. Celebrate holidays, birthdays, or host summer picnics for all residents and their families. Inviting multiple families into the facility helps family members meet others with same experiences and helps the residents build stronger relationships with one another.
- Offer transportation services.
Some adult residential care facilities have seen great success with offering transportation services to their residents. They invite residents to sign up for days/times to take the shuttle to family events or outings. This gives residents a way to still make it to their grandchildren’s games, plays, or concerts without having to ask for a ride from family.
- Host “get to know staff” days.
Sometimes families may avoid visits because they don’t want to overstep their boundaries. Host “Get to Know Staff” days every quarter. This gives the families a chance to meet and ask staff members’ questions. These types of meetings boost their comfort level and make them more willing to make visits.
- Organize “field trips”.
Field trips are a great way to get families involved with the residents. Schedule a trip to a local farm, museum, or art gallery and have the families accompany their loved ones. These types of events spark new conversation and put smiles on everybody’s face.
- Educate them.
Make the family feel like a vital part of the resident’s care by keeping them up to date on all changes in the resident’s routine. Schedule a time for a phone call monthly or quarterly to review their care plan, concerns, and recommendations for future care. This helps the family feel like their opinion still counts and encourages participation.
Make every resident’s experience in your adult residential care facility a positive one by keeping their family involved. Residents with active families are happier, live longer, and remain healthy for greater lengths of time. Encourage continued family involvement with these seven tactics.