Deciding that it is time to move an aging loved one into a nursing home is never easy. There can be a lot of guilt that comes with the realization that you can no longer provide all the care your family member needs. You will likely also be concerned about their quality of life or standard of living when they live with strangers and not with your family.
However, with careful planning, you can make a nursing home living situation more positive for your family, including your loved one who will stay in the facility. Making sure that they have the right amenities and personal possessions with them at the facility can drastically improve their quality of life and help them retain their connection to their family back home.
Focus on physical comfort when packing
The facility that you select should provide you with basic information about what amenities they offer and which ones you will need to provide on behalf of your loved one. It is common for the amenities to include a bed, a mattress, a chair and possibly a television or radio.
Some nursing homes or assisted living facilities will provide residents with linens, such as towels and bedsheets. In that situation, the staff at the nursing home will likely handle stripping and washing the sheets. However, in some facilities with more active residents, it may be possible for you to pack linens and other comfort materials for your loved one. Soft sheets and comfortable towels can make daily life for nursing home residents much better.
Look at the set up of the room with your loved one and try to determine how much space you will have for certain amenities, such as personal possessions. It may be possible to bring a chair or even a loveseat for your loved one to sit in during the day.
Personal possessions can keep your loved one grounded in reality
Living in a nursing home can often leave people feeling cut off from their communities and their loved ones. To help maintain their sense of connection, it is beneficial to bring special items from home, such as their favorite works of art or pictures of loved ones. Certain books, movies and music can also be a source of comfort and happiness to older adults living in nursing home facilities.
Also, ask your loved one what they would like to have. Unless they are experiencing significant cognitive decline, they probably have an idea of which items they would like to bring with them. If your loved one has a pet, re-homing it with a nearby family member who can bring it for regular visits can also do a lot to protect the health and happiness of your loved one in a nursing home.