Preparation and planning are key to transitioning to a different type of care. Acknowledging an upcoming change is hard to do, but allows both caregiver and patient time to evaluate new needs and services. It is essential that both parties are prepared for the change.
Take time to familiarize new care providers with routines, needs, and characteristics about the patient. Give staff or aides the advantage to provide proper care. If aides are aware of the patient’s routine, it will likely make the patient more comfortable in new surroundings. Work on relationships with the new care providers, be honest, and work together. If the new care provider is an in-home aide, define specific tasks to make the process easier creating an environment for effective teamwork. Both the original caregiver and the new care provider(s) should learn from each other. Working together can only provide better care for the patient.
Preparing the Patient
Changing care plans can be stressful and scary for many patients. Their level of uncertainty is likely to rise as the change draws near. It is important that the patient be as involved as possible with decision making and information regarding facilities, caregivers, types of care, and their own care routine. While resistance is more common in patients with dementia or confusion, even the most cooperative patient can have a roadblock. Ensure the patient that they will be well taken care of and that the experience is new to everyone involved. Explaining that they are not alone in this new experience can ease anxieties and lower resistance to the new situation. Also, let the new care provider(s) develop relationships with the patient. They will be with the patient at times the original caregiver cannot and should be able to make a patient feel comfortable, and safe.