2– 4 WEEKS PRIOR TO MOVE-IN
- Compile an accurate list of current medications and doses by looking at what the patient is taking at home and verifying with the primary care provider, provider at Memory & Movement Charlotte (MMC), other specialists, and pharmacist. Include over-the counter medications and supplements.
- Ask the facility to explain the process of having prescriptions transferred to their pharmacy. If needed, a one-week supply can be ordered and purchased from the original pharmacy.
Medical Care Team
- Recommend transferring primary care to an on-site provider if the facility offers this service. Urgent and routine medical issues are more easily assessed at the bedside, and this is often less stressful than leaving for appointments. Ask the primary care team to contact you after all patient visits with their impression and plan.
- MMC providers will continue to manage memory, movement, and/or behavior medications. Staff can contact us with related concerns.
- Creating a familiar environment by using furniture and décor from home can help with the transition. It is important to keep rooms uncluttered with open walkways. Consider adding personal touches such as favorite artwork, cozy bedding, and family photos. Arrange movers for any heavy items. Do not bring valuable items.
- Create a family photo album. A personalized book brings comfort and encourages engagement with staff and other residents as they learn about family and outside interests.
ONE WEEK PRIOR TO MOVE-IN
- Forward medical paperwork to the primary care physician for completion and include the up-to-date medication list. One form used in North and South Carolina is called FL2. The clinical staff at MMC can also assist with completing the forms however vaccination records and TB testing may still have to be obtained from the primary care physician.
- It is critical that all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements be recorded correctly on the FL2. The facility cannot administer medications unless they are on the form.
- Confirm move-in details with the facility including date and building logistics including use of an elevator, if needed.
- Discuss strategies for move-in day with the provider. There are situations where a story around the move is needed such as needing to vacate the home because work is being done. Softening the approach may reduce resistance.
- In some situations, the provider may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for the day of the move. Discuss this before move-in day.
- Stress is contagious. Use previously successful techniques to manage personal stress.
- Take time to get organized and do not rush.
- If possible, have others set up the room. Enjoy time together by going for walk or a meal then go to the facility. Arriving to a familiar setting can ease the stress of the transition.
- Provide soft lighting and soothing music upon arrival to the room.
- Keep greeting with the staff low key and positive. If there are any details, logistics, or problems to discuss, do so privately, away from the room. These conversations may create unnecessary anxiety and agitation for the person moving in.
- Use redirection and favorite engagement activities if anxiety and agitation are building. Do not hesitate to have the staff assist. Remember that the staff at the facility help people every day with the move-in process. Rely on them for guidance and suggestions for a smooth transition.
- Stay for a brief period of time. Allow staff to provide distraction when it is time to go.
- Remember the cornerstones of care – calm, clean, safe and loved. The facility provides a new setting where these goals can be met.
THE FIRST DAYS AND WEEKS AFTER THE MOVE
- The initial adjustment period can be weeks to months for both the person who moved and the family.
- It is normal to experience a flood of emotions now that the move has occurred. Reflect on being a caregiver at home. The experience was filled with ups and downs along the way. Reach out to MMC, family and friends, and staff at the facility for support.
- Embrace the new role of being a spouse, family member, or friend who no longer must provide physical and day-to-day care. Create moments of joy during visits.
- Check in by phone as desired but it is recommended not to visit for several days.
- Keep initial visits to an hour of less and visit at different, unannounced times to get a sense of what occurs over the course of the day.
- Get to know the staff, asking about them and their lives and share stories about family, careers, travel, and interesting life experiences. Building rapport creates a family-like culture.
- Let the facility know if an off-site medical appointment is scheduled. The day prior, ask the facility to provide a current medication administration record. This will list all medications and the times “as needed” medications have been administered. Allow extra time to be sure everything and everyone are ready to go.