Even when all parties agree that moving from a traditional home to a nursing home is the right decision, there is sure to be an adjustment period. If it's your responsibility to help a loved one adjust to life in a nursing home, there are several steps you can follow to ease the tension and ensure a smooth transition.
- Take familiar items: A nursing home room isn't nearly as big as your loved one's house, but that doesn't mean you can't make it feel comfortable from day one. Choose a few familiar items, such as pictures and a bedspread, to help ease the transition in the early days.
- Talk to the staff: Share as much information on your loved one as possible, such as their likes, dislikes, interests, medical history and daily schedule. Not only does this help your loved one adjust, but it also makes life easier on the staff while giving you peace of mind.
- Visit as often as you can: Your loved one will enjoy seeing your face, so don't be shy about visiting when your schedule allows. Talk to other family members and friends about when they'll be visiting, as this allows you to space out your time.
- Share information on activities: Most nursing homes have a variety of activities for residents, ranging from bingo to exercise class. Your loved one doesn't have to participate, but it's one of the better ways to adjust. Not only does it get them moving, but it also allows them to meet other residents.
- Don't take your loved one out just yet: If you do this before they settle into a routine, it could make them homesick. Wait a few weeks or longer before you pick them up for an outside excursion.
These are the types of tips you can use to help your loved one adjust to life in a nursing home. As you focus on making the transition as simple as possible, don't forget to pay close attention to other important matters, such as the best way to pay for nursing home care.
A move into a nursing home is difficult on you and your loved one, but preparing in advance and taking the right steps can help ease the pain.