Learning to Let Go: Making the Transition into Residential Care

Learning to Let Go: Making the Transition into Residential Care

Penelope Wilcock, Lion Hudson

Learning to Let Go is a positive book aimed at taking the fear out of leaving one’s home to move into a retirement village. Politely but firmly, Ms Wilcock points out that some people are choosing to stay in their homes where they are lonely and unsafe — that their grown-up “children” are not always emotionally able to care for their frail parents, particularly if it involves toileting and bathing. Most importantly she writes of how people live very happily in residential care.

The search for the right residential care can involve many considerations.

Wilcock encourages readers to consider: Do I want a home with a busy program of activities or a peaceful place with beautiful grounds, a room with an ensuite or shared facilities, a home run by a religious organisation, a vegetarian diet option, a home with a pet? When I move, what treasures from my present home can I bring?

If a son or daughter is helping a parent who can no longer express themselves move into a nursing home, they are encouraged to provide the staff with information about their parent’s likes and dislikes. The son or daughter is also encouraged to choose a home with their parent’s likes and dislikes in mind, — whether they agree with them or not. As Wilcock points out, if your mother holds extremely racist views, it is better to find a situation where she will not feel threatened.

Learning to Let Go provides useful information to care staff on ways to provide the best environment for their clients. She draws on her own experience and knowledge for this, having been employed as a chaplain and as a care assistant in nursing homes for patients who are chronically and terminally ill, and as a hospice and hospital chaplain

Learning to Let Go is an informative and thought provoking book.

Katy Gerner


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