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I can still remember the pain in the pit in my stomach while I wheeled Ty into his new home – the long term care facility where he would live for the rest of his life.
I felt nervous, worried and scared, and what I didn’t realize at the time, what most other families feel the morning they are admitting their loved one into seniors’ care.
I was feeling Admission Anxiety. I didn’t have the words then to describe it, but I sure felt the feels of it.
The other thing I didn’t think about or have any awareness of was how the care team members were feeling that morning. They knew they were scheduled to meet a new resident that they only learned about from a file. They also knew they were going to meet his wife. Me.
The care team members were also feeling Admission Anxiety. They too didn’t have the words to describe it, but they were worrying and wondering how our relationship was going to work.
As a family member would I be a pleasure to deal with? What was my knowledge level about long term care? What were my expectations, and were they ‘reasonable’ ?
In Now What? Managing the Emotional Journey of Long Term Care, I wrote a chapter about Admission Anxiety.
I share perspectives from both the families and the care team members.
Both feel admission anxiety just for different reasons.
This shared experience can be approached as a common ground for connection and relationship to occur, and by giving a copy of Now What? to new families on Admission Day, you’re acknowledging this anxiety- and providing some ease from it.
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