There are important moments in a person’s life that end up defining their coming years. For seniors who are transitioning from assisted living back into a home care situation, this is a massive lifestyle change. However, this transition does not only affect them but those helping them to make this change as well. For you as a caregiver, being prepared for this process, and communicating with your best team member on this journey (your spouse), is crucial. To ensure you can do so, here are seven things you must communicate to your spouse when transitioning parents from assisted living back into home care:
1. Do Not Procrastinate on Telling Them
The absolute worst mistake you can make in this process is to keep your spouse (and your parent) in the dark about the upcoming transition. If you’re not openly communicative and honest from the start, the process is almost certain to become a barrage of poorly handled tasks, resentments, and frustrations. To avoid this, be sure to immediately inform everyone involved in the transition of what’s going on, and what your intentions are for the transition as well.
2. Do Not Be Afraid to Communicate Your True Feelings
If you hold back your true feelings, especially crucial ones, it will certainly create problems with your relationship with both your spouse and your parent. Sit down and write a list of your concerns before bringing them up if you’re feeling nervous, as this can help you have a safer route to ensure your voice is heard. Doing so will be nerve-wracking at times, but it’s essential to make sure your parents move from assisted living back into home care successfully.
3. Listen to Your Spouse’s Concerns
You may be overlooking concerns that are important to your spouse, or your spouse may have fantastic ideas on how to make your parent’s transition a success. By listening to their concerns before diving too deep into the process, you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect moving forward, and you can feel more like a team right away. After all, your spouse loves you, and you need to make sure they are heavily involved in this crucial transition. This will also help to establish your shared boundaries for when you make the transition.
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4. Make Sure You Both Have a Conversation with Your Transitioning Parent
You should have these conversations both solo and as a pair. Being openly communicative with your transitioning parent is critical to making sure there is no resentment or problems in the relationship later on. Additionally, your parent’s input is critical to their transition becoming a success, and they can let you know if they have any legal, personal, or health concerns to communicate to you and your spouse as well. Remember, this is a medical process just as much as it is a lifestyle process, so you must make sure they are both informed of what’s happening and alright with what’s happening.
5. Do Your Best to be a Team
This transition will be a team effort, and if you try to go it alone, the process will be doomed to fail from the start. By sitting down and splitting tasks, and making sure you’re both on the same page, the transition will be much more successful. Remember to include your parent in this teamwork where appropriate as well, as they are the ones that are going through the most jarring life transition as you move them from assisted living back into home care.
6. Provide Each Other Space to Vent
Not every step of getting used to this transition needs to be a full-on team effort, however. Both you and your spouse are individuals, so you need your own space to vent your frustrations to a close friend or someone similar. Doing so will allow you and your spouse to be heard in a fully healthy, effective fashion. This exercise will ensure you’re fully able to be a team when it truly matters, and your parent that’s transitioning will be happy that you’re being so emotionally intelligent about the process.
7. Take Time for Yourselves
As you’re dealing with this sometimes taxing transition, it’s crucial you and your spouse take time to do something that’s just for you. Without this time to enjoy each other, your relationship, and your personal lives, the transition can become much, much more difficult to manage successfully. Both you and your parents will benefit significantly from you taking the time to ensure you’re at your best during this challenging time.
Here’s to a Successful Transition
With these crucial seven steps, you’ll have an amazingly successful, honest, and care-centric strategy for transitioning your parent from assisted living back into a home care situation. By keeping the channels of communication open with your spouse and parent, you can be certain you avoid any hard feelings that could significantly impact your relationship with them later on in your life.
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