“Well there is no real rush for a move to happen now…..so let’s wait a bit”……and then a fall happened. A huge hit to the head. An awful fall. An awful situation. Too long a hospital stay.
“Is the residence that was the ideal choice still an option?”… We are told no. If the move would have happened before the fall occurred then probably that residence would have been a great environment for the elderly person I was working with.
Ideally the move would have happened way before the fall. Albeit a fall can happen at any time for each and every one of us [trust me should my reflexes not have worked last week my face would be rearranged, my life perhaps come to a halt, from having fallen flat on my face on the sidewalk]. For a move to happen tomorrow…yeah let’s plan for that but not tomorrow tomorrow…. a little later then that would be even better. All we know for sure is that today is not the best day.
How did it change so quickly that one day there was a good fit with a residence and the next day the fit no longer existed? Time. Time has passed for everyone involved. It is not just about one person. The senior who was ready (or at least thinking ) of moving faced a change in their level of autonomy after the fall though they still were within the range of care that the residence of choice could provide. The residence on the other hand also has their current residents requiring assistance. Their staff is just about stretched to the max. They know their clients will need more and more care. As of today the residence needs to accept seniors who move in a little more autonomous. So in this situation it is much more the needs of the residence, the existing and future needs of their existing clients and their staff, that made ‘the right fit’ become a ‘wrong fit’ and not so much the slight loss of autonomy on my clients’ end. The fit needs to be good all around, for the senior and also the retirement residence, otherwise another move might need to occur in the near future which is certainly not the goal of this exercise, and for that reason the residence was no longer able to accept this new client with new needs.
By moving in earlier the new resident settles in, gets familiarized with the new environment, taps into the routine of the residence and gets to create relationships with the staff members as well as other residents. Also, the staff gets to know the needs and temperament of the new tenant and adjusts the care plan accordingly.
When a move towards a residence is pushed back and pushed back some more, time plays a trick on all of us and alters different aspects that we may not have thought of.
There is a window of opportunity where a move is optimal, there is no specific date like the expiry date on a bag of milk, but the best time is when it is not too late.
In an ideal world a move occurs before a crisis happens, when the senior has the energy to make their own decisions and has the energy to manage their own affairs. Furthermore the move occurs not long after interest has been shown towards a specific residence. Otherwise that option may no longer remain an option some time down the road.
Time plays a trick on everyone! For this one client it was less than 3 months from the initial visit and showing interest in that specific residence.
If home is no longer an option, should yesterday have passed already, today is better than tomorrow regarding moving towards a retirement residence. No one ever said this process is easy. I totally and completely understand.