It’s something that we may all have to face one day — the prospect of placing a loved one in residential care.
Despite pacts made never to put each other into the hands of an elderly facility, many people find themselves in exactly that position.
And that’s why the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is helping families prepare for those possibilities, with free workshops tonight (Wednesday) and next week.
“It’s quite a traumatic experience, as caregivers have generally worn themselves out caring for someone at home,” said Krista Frazee, the Richmond-South Delta support and education coordinator for the society.
“It’s a terrible process to go through, realizing that you can’t care any more for the person you love, especially when you’ve sworn to that person you wouldn’t put them into care.”
Frazee the workshops will help caregivers deal with the inevitable, and sometimes overwhelming, guilt felt when having to place their husband, wife, father or mother in care.
“It can be an extremely challenging time for everyone involved,” added Frazee, saying that, as well as the guilt, there can be a lot of animosity felt by the person going into care.
“Not just the very emotional aspect of it, there’s also negotiations that need to be done with the care facility and how to be part of their team.
“There’s also the loss of privacy felt by both parties and they’ll have to learn how to maintain their relationship in new surroundings.”
Frazee said it can sometimes take up to six months for people to settle into their new life.
The workshops will be split into two parts; Preparation for Transition to Residential Care takes place Wednesday, Feb. 13 and is designed for family caregivers who’re considering residential care options for a person with dementia. It will offer information on how to access residential care in the community, as well as a review of some important considerations when choosing a facility.
“We will also explore the challenges families face when making decisions about residential care, and review some strategies for preparing for the transition,” added Frazee.
The second workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 20, called Life in Residential Care, will help family caregivers understand what to expect in a residential care facility.
Participants in this workshop will also learn how to support a person with dementia who’s living in a facility, and become familiar with the rights of residents in long-term care facilities in B.C.
Both workshops run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in room 345/350 of Richmond Caring Place, 7000 Minoru Blvd. Pre-registration is required for each. For information and to register, contact Frazee at 604 238 7390 or email@example.com.