Ten reasons families need to read ‘Now What?’
So they know they’re not alone.
Preparing to begin the journey of long term care for your loved one is not an easy decision, and can come with questions like:
- “Am I doing the right thing?”
- “Will the staff care for my loved one like they were their own mother or father?”
- “What will the transition for them be like? What if they’re not happy there?”
- “Will I ever feel ok with making this decision to move my loved one into a long term care home?”
Questions like these are normal! You may feel fear, sadness, or even relief (and then guilt for feeling relief) and feel isolated. Not only does this book acknowledge these emotions, but lets you know that you are not alone. Other families have felt what you’re feeling, and have grappled with the guilt and grief.
So you can get ahead of their misconceptions about LTC.
Think of ‘Now What?’ as a guide book to navigatethe questions and concerns families have coming in about long term care. The many misconceptions that surround this industry are outlined in chapter 15 and can help close the knowledge gap created by assumptions and can lead to unmet expectations, frustration and disappointment.
So they understand that staff feel admission anxiety too.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the staff who will be caring for your loved one, are also most likely mourning the person they previously cared for. When a bed opens in long term care, most of the time it’s due to somebody passing away- and it’s extremely hard on staff. They too are feeling anxiety about meeting a new family, and worry about what the family will be like to work with.
They don’t know what they don’t know, and you can help close that knowledge gap.
Think of it this way- families know everything about their loved one such as what kind of food they like, what time of day they prefer to take their nap, what makes them happy and what upsets them. Staff know everything about their home, such as the processes, procedures, protocols and people who make things work there . ‘Now What?’ Closes this knowledge gap on the family’s end, shedding light on some of these procedures and protocols (and why they have them) in long term care.
So they can have insight and empathy for what you and your team do.
By sharing some of the ‘behind the scenes’, families learn more about the long term care culture, and the human, meaningful relationships that are created with the care team, residents and families. They get to see the care team members as people who care about their residents while they work hard to get the job done.
So you can reduce the ‘jalapeño moments’ that happen when families feel lost.
Most of the time, when a family is having a ‘jalepeno’ moment, it’s for one of the following reasons:
- They have unmet expectations, which could have been avoided by clarifying and adjusting (if necessary) these expectations at the beginning
- They are grieving. Not all grieving comes when someone passes- sometimes it’s due to the fact that their loved one is deteriorating, and they can’t control it.
- There’s a lack of communication between staff and family.
Now What?’ explains the grieving experience, how to adjust and manage expectations, and how to ‘reset’ yourself to better equip yourself with some of the unpleasant or unexpected jalapeno moments.
You’re not just meeting the family – you’re meeting their grief – and there’s a chapter that will help your families with their grief.
Just like I explained above, grief doesn’t just come when a loved one passes. Sometimes the family begins grieving much sooner – their loved one is changing, deteriorating, and no longer living either with them, or the home they knew. In chapter 16 Edy Nathan discusses the process of grief, and how to help someone who is grieving.
This is an investment into the relational bank account with your families by sharing a resource that will be invaluable to them.
Think of the beginning a relationship with anyone as a relational bank account. You can deposit into this bank account with good communication, kindness & compassion – everything ‘Now What?’ embodies. Giving this book to your new families can be your first large deposit into the relational bank account, and start your relationship off right!
They don’t yet fully understand their role as a ‘partner’ in care with you and your care team members.
Both family and staff are striving for the same goal- to provide the best care and compassion for the person now living as a resident in long term care. ‘Now What?’ outlines the partnership staff & families have…you’re on the same team! Staff can have the curse of knowledge because they know so much about long term care and how things work. Families know everything about their loved one, what the care team members need to know to provide the best care and support. Now What? helps families clarify and step into their new role as a residents’ family member.
You can have a shared language and understanding and work together (not us vs them) with shared goals.
We’ve had family members comment the most on the Family Flavours (Chapter 14) and how being able to recognize their “Jalapeno moments” helps to put in perspective what’s missing, or needs to be addressed more effectively. With both care teams and families being familiar with the book contents, they can reference and discuss concepts more easily.