Last week we moved mom and dad from one care home to another. The facility we moved them from was private and although the care staff were brilliant, we were beginning to experience the effects of poor management.
Announcements were being made with vague timelines, renovations to an entire floor would disrupt mom and dad to another floor with new care staff, communication with us as family was financial only and very obviously not a priority. Although the cost was high there, and we moved to a funded facility, it was the insecurity we felt there that motivated us primarily.
All that aside, we found that when the provincial health people contacted us saying there were openings at the care home we had requested, we had literally 48 hours to firstly decide to accept and secondly, to physically complete the move! We agreed to accept the placements offered. We are grateful that mom and dad both could move at the same time and although in separate rooms for now, in the same wing of the new care home. This isn’t common, apparently.
Personal schedules were juggled and we did it! We have done this before when moving mom and dad from Manitoba to BC and happily, the amount of physical stuff to actually move was now reduced to one packed vehicle. We did the big purge on the last move, in Manitoba.
What we didn’t do was make good lists. In the scurrying of us two siblings adjusting their personal lives to set aside a full day with 24 hrs notice we focused on and ensured mom and dad would be OK with the communication, confusion, physically moving them, packing up stuff… What we missed were some of the administrative details, especially with regard with the private care home we were leaving. They’re bookkeeping was a mess and the communication to us re what was left in the ‘comfort fund’, insisting we were paying for the next month because we didn’t provide 30 days notice, an inventory of personal care items, like pull-ups for example, that we had purchased through them… these things should have been pro-active conversations. Now they are reactive conversations and more difficult.
Mom and dad are settling into the new environment. We like it. I think they are becoming familiar there and recognizing faces again and slowly adapting. They are both in their late 80’s, both with advanced dementia. We siblings are phoning each other more and working on the list of items to resolve so this move can be buttoned up and behind us. We’re also visiting mom and dad more to support their settling in, take them out for walks and just sit with them. Eldercare 101. Always.