Transitions In Adult Care

Transitions are defined as changes from one state to another.  In terms of adult care, these transitions are often losses in wellness, ability, and independence.  As family and friend caregivers, we are often unprepared for the challenges brought on by a care recipient or loved one’s aging or failing health.     

The Transitions in Adult Care module is intended to:

  • provide information and resources to help family and friend caregivers throughout their caregiving journey,
  • help caregivers focus on their own wellness and quality of life, and
  • demonstrate that many challenges are shared among caregivers and that you are not alone.

We use the words caregiver, family and friend caregiver, and unpaid caregiver, to refer to the person giving care. We use the words care recipient and loved one to refer to the person receiving care.  See Caregiving Language for further terms.

It is also important to explain what we mean by ‘care’. Care may be given by you or a health care provider, at home or in a facility. It can include many things, from helping your loved one with transportation or finances, to helping with bathing or dressing. Your doctor or home care worker may refer to these as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). The article What are Activities of Daily Living? will help you to understand these terms and to communicate more effectively with healthcare providers about your loved one's care needs.

Care also refers to self-care, looking after your own physical and mental well-being.

To appreciate the wealth of information in this module the following is an index of the menu options on the right.  There are a number of linked resources that provide further information on each topic.

Transitions in Adult Care (this page)
           What to look for when changes are happening
           Starting a difficult conversation
           Living safely at home
                        - Medication management
                        - Nutrition, hydration and oral care
                        - Frailty
                        - Driving
                        - Social and recreation
                        - Falls prevention
                        - In-home monitoring
                        - Home Care
                        - Respite care
                        - Renovating to age in place
                        - Finances and legal matters
                        - Fraud
            Is it time for a move?
                        - Downsizing
                        - Moving in with you
                        - Senior Housing
                        - Long-Term Care
                                    - Residential Care Facilities
                                    - Nursing Homes
                        - Private-Pay Housing Options
            Crisis care and planning
                        - Emergency Department visits and Acute Care stays
                        - Adult Protection
                        - Alternate Level of Care or Transitional Care Units
                        - Urgent Placement in Long-Term Care

We are grateful for the invaluable insight and expertise provided by caregivers, community partners, and allies as we developed this module. We wish to thank the people whose names appear in this list for providing feedback to us either through our survey or by email. If you have provided feedback and you don't see your name in the list, please let us know and we will correct the error. Thank you!

This module has been made possible by the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors Age-Friendly Community Grant.

Caregiver Tips

Look for the purple text box at the end of each section because it contains suggestions, resources, and supports for you, the family/friend caregiver.

The constant factor throughout all these changes will be your presence. Self-Awareness: Who Am I? is a worksheet that will help you identify your strengths, habits, values, and needs.  Knowing yourself has never been so important!

You may also want to refer to our Where to Begin guide.  It is an introductory planning tool especially for people who are new to caregiving and may be feeling lost or overwhelmed.