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Discussing the Move to Residential Aged Care

Discussing the Move to Residential Aged CareIt’s important to understand the mindset of your loved one before you broach the idea of a move to residential aged care. Your loved one is likely to be feeling a sense of loss – loss of control, choice, confidence, freedom, independence, ability, lifestyle, social connections…..the loss of who I am. This is their perception.

With over 40 years’ experience in delivering residential aged care services, here’s some tips on how to make the conversation go positively.


  1. Perspective – put yourself in their shoes and understand how they would be feeling so you can reflect this back throughout the conversation. Reinforce that you are ‘on their team’, that you have their best interests at heart, and are willing to listen. It is important to treat some elements of this conversation as a negotiation, for example, your loved one may not want to leave the family home however may not have considered the convenience of letting go of that maintenance load.
  2. Speak to them alone – there’s no need for a large family intervention as this can be quite confronting. A quiet conversation in a place your loved one feels safe to express themselves is ideal – the transition to an aged care home can be an emotional idea for some, so avoid public places if you feel your loved one may find themselves upset or embarrassed.
  3. Take them on the journey – Make sure they feel involved in coming to the decision. A good way of doing this is along the lines of “Mum you mentioned you were finding it hard to get around the house. Should we look into options that can give you the help and security you need?” CraigCare has a variety of resources for you to share, including brochures, price lists, food menus, social calendars and more – consider putting together a pack to go through together, and take that opportunity to gauge what they like and dislike (we may be able to assist with additional information).
  4. Challenge perceptions of residential aged care vs the reality. Take a private tour of the care communities and gather evidence to take back to your loved one to show them that residential aged care can be a great choice for keeping them safe, cared for and, equally important – socially connected and engaged (e.g. ask to see the lifestyle activities calendar, menus, talk to actual residents).
  5. Suggest a trial – respite care is a great way to show your loved one what aged care is really like. They can enter care on a short-term non-committal basis – from a few days to a few weeks. You can prepare for their stay with us by packing a few important items from home, such as a photo frame or some cushions, to help make them visualise the space as their own. Then, commit to visiting them during their stay so you can explore the activities on offer together.

Last but not least, let your loved one know to forget the nursing home stereotype! CraigCare offers a strong range of activities, great healthy dining and strong community integration for them to enjoy and stay engaged.