Four Tips for Helping a Loved One Transition to Life in a Nursing Home

Maybe your elderly loved one has clear intentions of living independently. Or perhaps he or she lives with you and you’re happy to have them do so for as long as possible. In either of these scenarios, unfortunately, a health crisis can force you to reconsider. When living independently or with family becomes unsustainable for your loved one, these tips will help you ease their transition into life in a nursing home. 

  1. If they don’t like it at first, urge them to take time before making a definite conclusion.

It takes time to adjust to a new way of living, and seniors who dislike living in a nursing home at first often come to love it after a few months. Encourage your loved one not to put too much stock in first impressions. Many find it’s like coffee or truffles — bitter and strange at first, but deeply enjoyable with patience.

  1. Visit often and encourage other loved ones to do the same.

Without frequent visits, those in nursing homes often feel forgotten and abandoned. Show your loved one you care by visiting them frequently. But remember you don’t have to bear this responsibility alone! Encourage their other loved ones to visit them frequently as well. 

  1. Decorate.

There will likely be a lot of downsizing in the process of moving into a nursing home. You can help your loved one feel more at home in their new space by helping them decorate their bedroom. Family photos, favorite books, sentimental knicknacks, and a blanket from home can all make the room cozier and more personalized. 

  1. Advocate.

Nursing home professionals are well-trained and know what they are doing; your loved one deserves this high level of care. However, no one knows your loved one quite like you do. Keep an open line of communication with the care staff so you can stay updated on your loved one’s overall transition. Also, be watchful of your loved one’s interactions with the care staff — these interactions can reveal how well everyone is getting along. 

If you have questions about how to help your loved one adjust to life in a nursing home, or about the planning you need to do to afford these accommodations in a crisis, the Elder Advisors Law team is here for you. Contact us today!

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