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3 Keys to Successfully Relocating a Resident

By Heather Brown
July 15, 2016

Adult residential care home owners have a great responsibility in providing quality care to the residents in their home. Residential care settings offer different types of care from independent living to assistance with daily living tasks.  During their time in the home, the residents quickly become extended members of the provider’s family. Developing family-type bonds with residents is what makes the adult residential care model beneficial to the residents.  As residents age, their needs change. These needs can be difficult to meet if the provider is not equipped to care for the resident properly.  Along with that, providers often have a difficult task in deciding if continued care is possible in their home.

Relocating a resident in your care can be stressful for you, other residents and family members.  Here are 3 tips to make the process easier for all involved:

  1. Be Proactive.  Take action if you start to notice a resident’s cognitive or overall health state change.  Contact the family and set up an appointment for the resident to be seen by their physician.  Ignoring the changes has many dangers. As their care provider, it is your greatest responsibility to be aware of these changes; ignoring them makes you responsible for any negative outcomes that occur like falls or wandering.
  2. Be Honest.  Honesty is important in all relationships. Contact the family and request a meeting when a resident requires more care than you are able to give.  Explain the situation and the types of care you feel the resident needs.  Being honest with them, in the beginning, makes the transition process much easier for you, the resident and their family.  Use this meeting as the time to suggest you and the family work together to relocate the resident to a care facility that meets their needs.
  3. Document Everything.  Documentation is vital in the day to day operations of an adult residential care home.  Keep detailed notes in the resident’s file that addresses changes, when they occur, how they are managed as well as calls to the family and the doctor.  A detailed log is the best defense if an unfortunate incident were to occur as a result of changes in care needs of a resident.

What Happens Next

The steps taken after you notify the family and documents changes and conversations have the greatest impact on the resident.  Whether they have been in your care for many years or just a few short months, they will find it difficult to leave a place considered home. As you work with the family, doctors, and new care providers, keep the resident informed.  Residents who are kept up to date on what is happening will suffer less stress and anxiety during the relocation.  Explain why, where and how they will be moving to a new care facility so they have time to accept the change and adjust to it.

What if They Refuse?

It is possible that the resident or family will be unhappy with the relocation suggestion.  In many states, it is illegal to deny care to a resident in your home.  If the resident and their family are not cooperative in the relocation plan, you still have options as a provider.  Contact your state licensing authority for information and guidance on initiating a transfer or relocation request.  A second option is to allow a resident to remain in their care by putting a negotiated risk agreement in place.  Contact your licensing authority to confirm this agreement is acceptable in your state.  Negotiated risk agreements outline the situation and address what type of care the resident needs and what type of care the residential care home provides. It clearly states that for the resident to remain in the home’s care there are certain types of care they will not receive.  The family or the resident signs the agreement acknowledging they are aware of and agree to the risks.


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