Working at a long-term care facility can be a stressful job, and sometimes long-term care facilities experience a bit of turnover. Because of this, residents find that they have to work with a new caregiver on a fairly regular basis, putting them in a position to "retrain" the new people regarding their preferences on how they want to be cared for. They can also develop a fondness for a certain caregiver that seems to be there one day, and gone the next. Losing the familiar only adds to the stress seniors experience as new people come into their lives, especially in such a personal way.
The Stress of Change Can Lead to Mental Health Concerns
In any long term care facility, the mental health of residents always needs to be a top priority. Senior citizens are at risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety for a number of reasons. They experience the grief of losing family members with greater frequency than those in other age groups, and become concerned about health and financial problems. Being isolated and living alone can compound these issues, especially in instances where the person feels a sense of physical or mental decline, and may even question their sense of purpose. Trust often doesn't come easy, and even the loss of a consistent caregiver can be a blow.
The Administrator's Role
Administrators and staff of long care facilities need to be forthright when facing these types of conflicts with the residents that are in their care. When staff members move on to other opportunities, management should encourage them to give proper notice, and take the time to say goodbye to residents that they worked with the most closely.
It also helps to incorporate consistent routines into the residents' day, so that even as many circumstances change, there are things they can count on, such as activities with other residents of similar physical and mental capabilities both within the facility, and in the community. Mental health counselors can also be available to discuss any change with residents and remind them that change is often a good thing.