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Age Cymru guide for carers when loved one goes to care home

AGE Cymru has published a guide on moving loved ones into care homes.

According to Age Cymru, overseeing loved ones moving into care homes is one of the most emotionally difficult challenges older carers face – they often feel a sense of loss, guilt or worry.

The guide advises carers going through the process to communicate with the care home as much as possible, giving them information about their new resident including their likes and dislikes.

It says the best way to do this is to meet with the key people in the care home such as the manager, the chef, and the activities co-ordinator. Quite often, care homes will assign a staff member to buddy up with a new resident to help them settle into their new home.

Helen Randall, Manager of the College Fields Nursing Home in Barry, said: “Moving into a care home can often be the biggest decision of anyone’s life as you are giving up the day-to-day control of how you live your life.

“But the decision can be just as big for the carer, as suddenly they lose control of how their loved ones are looked after.

“When a new resident arrives in the home, new relationships need to be made between staff, the resident and their loved ones. This is vital to make sure that everyone feels listened to, supported, happy and content.

“We can never know our residents as well as their loved ones which is why they should have an integral part in the admission and on-going care of residents.

“Lockdown has been a challenge to us all but especially for residents and their loved ones. We have done everything we could to help maintain contact between them through regular telephone calls, various digital media sessions and ‘window’ visits.

“We even took on extra staff to provide one to one activities in residents’ rooms to help maintain morale.”

The guide, funded by the Welsh Government Sustainable Social Services Third Sector Grant, is available – in English or Cymraeg – at www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/our-work/carers/making-relationships-count/

Alternatively call 029 2043 1555 for a copy.

The guide advises that you can help settle your loved one by personalising their living space with objects they cherish such as photos, pictures and books.

It also suggests encouraging relatives and friends to write or phone the care home resident regularly.

Carers should also ensure they look after themselves – sharing their feelings with people they trust, ensuring they get plenty of rest and exercise, and by treating themselves.

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