How To Ease The Transition To a Nursing Home

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As of 2023, the United States has over 1.2 million nursing residents. While you might feel alone in making the decision to transfer care of your parents or elderly relatives to a caring faculty, it’s a choice for people across the country to make for the right reasons.

But just because it’s the right choice for you and your family doesn’t mean it will be easy for everyone involved. This post will look at some things you can do to help make the transition easier for your loved one and yourself and ensure they get the support they need from their new living quarters and those around them, too.

Understand Why You Are Doing It

The decision to place your parents or loved ones in a nursing home can come with an incredible amount of guilt, and this guilt can be instrumental in maintaining relationships and being able to move forward. Be explicit about the reasons why you are doing this and why this is the best option. Be honest with those around you so all involved pirates can understand the gravity of the decision and that this is the best possible decision. Whether you don’t have space at home, they need more specified care than you can give. You simply have a family to raise and can’t dedicate the time required because you’re in a different state; make peace with the decision to help everyone move forward.

Understand How Nursing Homes Help and What To Expect

Whether you are on the verge of the move or navigating the early days as a nursing home resident, it’s crucial to understand exactly what is offered and how it will help. Knowing the level of care provided, the range of activities available, the rules of visiting, and what is expected of both visitors and residents can significantly ease the transition and ensure everyone is on the same page.

The more you know and understand, the easier it will be for everyone to acclimate and ensure every one is the same age.

Avoid The Urge To Micromanage

Stepping back and trusting someone else with your loved one’s care is never going to be easy, but resisting the urge to micromanage can help facilitate a healthier relationship between you, your loved one, and the care facility. It’s important to voice genuine concerns, but in the case of general care, such as meal preferences or social activities, it’s best to avoid being too overbearing.

This isn’t to say you should not bring up major problems; if you suspect neglect or abuse, you can talk to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, a reputable organization that provides help and advice in such cases. However, in the case of day-to-day life, how the nursing home operates, its best to take a step back.

Do Retain Contact

Maintaining regular contact with your loved ones in the nursing home is crucial. Treat them as you would if they were still living with you, involving them in family plans and activities. Even if it’s just a phone call every night, this connection can significantly improve their quality of life and make them feel valued and involved.

Just because they’re in a nursing home, it doesn’t mean they won’t want to be part of your family and be involved in family activities. You might need to make additional accommodations; however, involving them, even if it’s just a quick text if you can’t call or visit, can still improve their quality of life.

Care for You

Remember, the reason you are using the services of a nursing home is to give yourself the opportunity to still live your life and ensure that your parent or family member gets the care they need. Worrying about making the wrong decision or feeling guilty doesn’t help anyone.

The nursing home is now there to take over the bulk of the care, so using this opportunity to live your life shouldn’t invoke feelings of guilt or drive you to do more than you need to.

Instead, remind yourself why you are doing this, get on with living your life, taking care of yourself so you can, in turn, provide support when needed. Burning yourself out by visiting, worrying, etc., isn’t going to benefit your physical or mental health, so stop. Take some time to focus on yourself so you can then be in a position to help out when needed and manage everything on your plate. Remember, the nursing home is now there to ease the burden, so using this opportunity to live your life shouldn’t invoke feelings of guilt or drive you to do more than you need to.

Listen To Them

It’s only natural to have some teething issues when settling into a new place or experiencing the upheaval of adapting to a completely new environment. Being patient, listening to any concerns your loved one might have, or helping them settle in by making any necessary adjustments can ease the settling period and resolve any problems.

Avoid the temptation to brush off worries and take the time to listen to the good and the bad. This way, you can get a feel for how things are going, read between the lines, maybe by listening to what isn’t being said, and even alleviate worries by helping to put resolutions in place for issues that might be cropping up.

Make It Personal

Ensure your loved one has some personal belongings with them to help make the room feel more like home, not just a room they will live in from now on. Depending on your chosen care facility, there may be different rules and regulations regarding what you can bring in or how you can fill personal space. But transforming their space into something that resembles home and has their home comforts can be a great way to help them settle in more accessible and limit stress and heaven from the transition.

Deciding to use the services of a nursing home is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. However, these tips can help the whole family get used to the idea and make the adjustment much more manageable.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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