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The separation of households that occurs when placing your elderly loved one into an aged care facility can make it difficult to maintain regular family time.

4 Tips for Incorporating and Navigating Family Time with Quality Aged Care

The separation of households that occurs when placing your elderly loved one into an aged care facility can make it difficult to maintain regular family time. For those used to spending a significant amount of time with their elderly family members, it is thus important to ensure their facility facilitates visits. However, it is just as crucial that the facility itself offers quality care that is personalized to your loved one’s needs.

With so much to consider and juggle when choosing an aged care facility, it can seem impossible to find an establishment that places equal emphasis on family time and quality care. That is why this blog post will provide you with four essential tips to navigate this challenge and ensure that your family remains connected.


1. Open Communication Channels

There is plenty to do before placing your loved one into an aged care facility, and it is best to consider their voice when making choices about their future. After all, the foundation of family caregiving is maintaining open and honest communication. Thus, you should initiate conversations with your loved one once the need for aged care arises to understand their preferences, concerns, and expectations.

Involving them every step of the way in the decision-making process will allow your loved one to feel in control and aware of what their potential care could be. This can be in the form of discussing care options and addressing any arising concerns or anxieties, which creates an open and supportive environment where every family member feels valued and understood. Such open communication can make the process of entering an aged care facility of choice far easier and more comfortable.

Additionally, regular communication between family members outside of the facility is crucial for your loved one’s continued well-being. With a collaborative network, responsibilities of care can be shared and a schedule can be established for visiting. This also creates a reliable system in which updates on your loved one’s care can be shared amongst everyone, whether that is in the form of phone calls, group messages, or family meetings. Keeping everyone in the loop fosters a collaborative approach to caregiving, ensuring that the burden is shared, and no one feels isolated.


2. Research and Visit Aged Care Facilities

Research is key when it comes to considering what aged care facility suits your loved one and offers sufficient visiting times. Take the time to personally review options in your area and be sure to consider the following features: staff qualifications, personalized care options, or facility reputation.

Personalised care is especially important as these features since it can often determine the exact quality of care your loved one receives. Researching the forms of care provided at a facility, such as respite or palliative care, can help you narrow down your choices and determine what suits your loved one’s needs best. For example, your loved one can receive comprehensive care with Banfields as it offers personalized care plans for all residents, even for those who are only temporarily under observation.

Touring an aged care facility in person can also be a great way to determine the atmosphere, amenities, and overall experience potentially provided to your loved one. Be sure to observe and engage with staff members while there to determine how they interact with other residents. You can also get answers to any pressing questions you may have, allowing you to make more informed decisions about your loved one’s needs and preferences.

Further insight can be gained by looking into online reviews and testimonials. By offering the fruits of your research to your elderly family member, you can gain their input in the decision-making process. Especially when it comes to choosing a specific location or narrowing down what kind of amenities are fundamentally required. This collaborative approach helps ensure that the chosen aged care setting aligns with their expectations and provides a comfortable and supportive environment.


3. Establish a Family Care Schedule

Maintaining family time in an aged care facility becomes far more manageable when there is a well-organised care schedule in place. Collaborate with other family members to establish a regular routine for everyone, factoring in individual responsibilities and balancing them with gaining family time for all. The schedules should feature key aspects like the aged care facility’s visiting hours, any shared caregiving responsibilities, and family activities to look forward to.

The schedule should also designate set times when family members are to take on caregiving responsibilities. This ensures that the workload is distributed equally and that your elderly loved one always has a familiar face to talk to in their facility. By incorporating family events or activities that everyone enjoys, you can share a great sense of joy and connection with everyone. This level of interaction is especially crucial for elderly residents, who will look forward to shared meals or outings.

The schedule should also designate set times when family members are to take on caregiving responsibilities.

4. Embrace Technology for Connection

With the continued evolution of technology, it is time to consider embracing the use of devices to remain connected with your loved one in aged care. Instant communication has never been so accessible, so make the most of it with video calls and messaging apps. Regular communication for seniors not only brightens up their day, but also ensures the entire family remains connected, no matter where they are in the world.

Try setting up regular virtual meetings so the entire family can join and share updates with those in aged care. This keeps them involved in everyone’s lives and connected to the greater world, ensuring they never feel isolated or disengaged from life. Having a digital connection also provides an avenue for quick updates and peace of mind, especially for family members who may not be physically present but still want to be actively involved in their loved one’s life.


Family & Quality Care Coming Together

Even when the family is separated, time spent together is more than possible with careful planning and consideration. This is true even when a loved one has to enter aged care as there are plenty of means of establishing strong lines of communication before and during their stay. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help create a supportive and collaborative caregiving environment for the elderly members of your family. This enriches not only their lives, but also the lives of the family members who love them dearly. It also ultimately ensures that your loved one receives the quality care they deserve as their input is always considered and included.

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