When your loved one make the transition to a nursing home setting, they are making a dramatic change that can be scary or unsettling. Taking steps to ease fears and make sure your loved one’s new home features familiar touches and personal items can help make the transition easier on you both.
Make the Nursing Home Feel Like Home
There are a lot of positives associated with moving to assisted care – from better meals to the ongoing social activities and round the clock care; making sure your senior can take advantage of these positives will help them settle in.
Bring important possessions: Your senior may have some favorites at home that they want to bring along; let them decide which items make the cut, even if you think the pieces are too old or outdated. These comfort items will help the new place feel like home.
Store beloved objects: If your parent has seasonal items, holiday decorations or even household goods they can’t bear to part with, offer to store these items yourself. Knowing the Christmas ornaments, heirloom gravy boat and old photos will be cared for will give your senior peace of mind. You can also pull out and deliver seasonal clothing and décor items as needed, increasing your senior’s sense of home and place as the seasons change.
Choose some display pieces: Choose a few pieces that fit well into the new space and that can display photos and other cherished pieces where your loved one can easily access them. Using pieces your senior already owns will increase the home-like feel of their new space.
Decorate the walls: Family photos, artwork and other pieces can help make your senior’s now place feel like home quickly.
Don’t forget the bathroom: You’ll have built in safety features and linen service, but bringing along the soaps and toiletries and even the decorations your senior loves can help the new bath feel inviting and comfortable.
Include favorite textiles: Your senior may have a favorite blanket or pillow that needs to make the transition as well, even if linens are provided.
Accessorize: The more accessories and personal items you can easily and safely incorporate into your senior’s new space, the better, even if you swap things out regularly.
Include host or hostess items: Your senior is moving to a new home and may need new seating for visitors. They’ll feel more at home if they can greet guests with a comfortable place to sit, a cup of coffee or a special treat. Being able to host guests makes your senior feel more in control and at home, and less like they are being visited in the hospital.
Give it time! Change is a big deal to anyone, and your senior could feel overwhelmed by the move. Give them time to settle in before making big changes. If you think a piece is too big or won’t work, let them bring it anyway; you can always offer to swap that old chair out for something new later. The best thing you can do for your senior is allow them to make decisions about what to bring and then facilitate those decisions so they can live in a home-like comfortable setting.
Contact us at Life Care Center of Sierra Vista for more information.