If your family member has reached a point in their life where they need long term care, you might be considering moving them into a care home like Shaughnessy Seniors Community. This can be a great option to ensure your loved one gets the support and attention they need. It also helps alleviate the burnout often associated with handling someone’s full-time care. 

Since you’ll be applying for a care home on your family member’s behalf, you’ll likely want to put as much time, thought, and effort into it as possible. If you’re finding your self-care is beginning to suffer as a result, it’s important to ensure you’re adequately supporting yourself through this challenging time.

Here are some reminders for how to take care of yourself while you navigate the care home application process:

Plan ahead

If possible, learning about your desired care home well ahead of when you will need to transition your loved one will help alleviate a lot of anxiety. Waitlists are common for quality long term care. Beginning research sooner than might feel necessary could ease any stress or panic that may arise if your family member’s condition worsens unexpectedly. 

Planning ahead for your well-being might also include having a conversation with your family member about transitioning them into a care home environment. Depending on their condition or attitude, this could be a challenging discussion. Speaking openly with them as soon as you start considering long term care means you will both have more time to come to terms with this change. This, in turn, could also take some anxiety off your plate. 

Inquire about financial resources

You may experience stress once you begin thinking about the financial commitment of moving your loved one into a care home. Everyone comes from different financial backgrounds, and cost should never feel like a barrier to giving your loved one the help they need. Several long-term care residences in the Park Place family provide government-subsidized beds. This means their care and accommodation will be partially funded by the government. 

Alleviating any financial worries you may be experiencing is an incredibly important way to take care of yourself during this process. We offer a Respite Program at Shaughnessy Seniors Community. This program can assist with short-term nursing care while you wait for a government-funded bed for your family member. 

Go easy on yourself

Many family members experience guilt when they decide to start applying for long term care for their loved ones. Although this is perfectly normal, it can negatively impact your well-being if you are unsure how to cope with this feeling. It’s important to remind yourself that most people cannot provide the care their parents or loved ones need on their own. Transitioning them into a care home is in their best interest as well as yours. You are doing the right thing by taking these steps. 

Pending their health and state of mind, it may even feel worthwhile to be open with your family member about how you’re feeling. If you can meet each other with compassion and understanding, it could put your mind at ease and help you feel closer to one another. 

Know that you’re not alone in this process

Moving a loved one into a care home is a common challenge that many people face. If you’re feeling isolated by the process, know that there are resources out there to help you every step of the way. You can find a wide range of information on the Shaughnessy Seniors Community and Park Place websites, and you can always contact us with any questions you might have. 

Remember to also reach out to other friends and family members for support and guidance. Maybe someone you know has been through a care home application process before. It can feel both validating and reassuring to have a conversation with them if they are willing to share their experience. 

Acknowledge your emotions and make time for self-care

Emotions are inevitable once you recognize your parent or loved one’s need for a care home. It’s natural to feel the need to put on a strong front. But, taking care of yourself during this process means acknowledging your emotions as they arise. Try not to judge these emotions and, instead, give yourself the time and space you need to process this change. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, you may need to prioritize taking a break. Do something you enjoy, visit a friend, or focus on the basics of self-care such as getting enough food and rest. It is never selfish to ensure your well-being isn’t being too negatively impacted by these challenging circumstances.

Just as we’re told to put our own oxygen masks on first when on an airplane, transitioning your parent or loved one into a care home is no different. Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of them, and it will only serve you both well in the long run.