Coming to live in a Residential home can be a difficult time for the person involved and for their relatives. People can experience many conflicting emotions, relief and guilt being two of these. These emotions can be heightened if a family member has been caring for a loved one at home.

At Glengariff Residential home one of the areas we pride ourselves on is involving both parties in decision making, liaising to find the most appropriate way to offer care that allows the resident to live their life as fully as possible, whilst reassuring relatives that activities will be delivered in a safe and caring environment.

We recently had an admission, which highlighted the above areas. Mrs A had been caring for her husband at home for a number of years but this was no longer a safe option, resulting in the need for residential care.

Initially carers were experiencing some problems with aggressive behaviour from Mr A. This behaviour was at odds with the person his family knew, this made them feel guilty about placing him in residential care.

We realised quickly that this behaviour was different to that which the wife had experienced and we needed to get input from other multi-disciplinary team members, to look as some areas of behaviour and then consider what changes we could make to smooth the transition for this family.

Through discussion with the family, who were advocating for Mr A, we came up with plan to trial, involving staff approach and an explanation of this approach in liaison with CPN’s, changes to Mr A’s environment, i.e. strategic placing of familiar items and snacks, alterations to light sources and a named staff member on each shift to allow for continuity of care.

At present Mr A’s life is very calm and as a consequence the visits from family are relaxed resulting in quality time being spent together.

We continue to learn from these situations and have achieved our goal of a happy and settled life for Mr A and a family who are onfident that their loved one is happy.

This is an example of the great success story that we have all achieved.