Moving in


The face of care has changed enormously over the last ten years.  Making the decision to move to a care home is rarely, these days, made as an active choice and is more likely to be as the result of catastrophic health changes or a deteriorating ability to remain independent.

Sadly, adjusting positively to this change in circumstances is more likely to be successful when it is an active choice and not a necessity.  Those of us responsible for care homes need to engage the individual themselves, and those who love and care for them, in explicit conversation to facilitate this adjustment.  A positive partnership with families is essential but one of those areas that can go badly wrong.

In my experience this is often because of unconscious forces which dominate our behaviour and few of us are comfortable talking about relationships which have, maybe, not been easy to manage over many years.  All of us are likely to have patterns of behaviour that become more entrenched as we get older and I suspect as other faculties deteriorate, so does our insight into the impact we have on others.  Not necessarily a fatal combination, but certainly one that takes skill and patience to unravel and sometimes, gently challenge.

Not all senior staff will have the necessary skills and finding the time to spend on this particular area competes, of course, with the many other areas of care for which they are responsible. However, successful transitions into care only happen when all the parties involved work closely together and communication is at its most open and honest.

Amanda Westbrook