The early days in each case are a period of adjustment for both clients and families. They may be wary because past attempts at treatment that have been unsuccessful have led them to question the process and its viability over the long term. It is not unusual for this adjustment phase to take as long as eight weeks. Our experience is that clear evidence of results is unlikely to become apparent during this time.
During this initial phase, clients commonly express varying degrees of ambivalence about, and resistance to, someone suddenly becoming so entwined in the intimate details of their daily lives. This can manifest itself in various ways. Frequently seen, are:
- Manipulative behaviors, including inaccurate allegations of tardiness, theft, inattentiveness of staff, personality conflicts, etc.
- Complaints about meals, dislike of specific care givers, criticism of a care giver’s personal style or grooming, etc.
- Heightened emotions such as sadness/depression, anger, social withdrawal, aggressive behavior
In addition, family members experience discomfort as they learn to trust the care team, and return to their normal relationship and roles with the client prior to the onset of the client’s need for care.