Moving a Parent to Nursing Home Care: How to Ease the Transition
Moving a parent to a nursing care home can be a traumatic and challenging process for family members. It is even more so if this person you love is not the type to accept help from others. They may not even want to move from their home at all. If you are in this situation, you might have a mix of feelings like guilt, sorrow, regret, and relief. The key is to remain sensitive to what your parents might feel but make sure you make the right decision. But the good news is that there are many ways that it can be made easier.
Keep reading for helpful tips on how you can help ease a parent’s transition into a nursing home.
Top Tips for Assisting Elderly Parents Transitioning to Nursing Home Care
When Is the Right Time?
Knowing when to move your mom or dad to a nursing home is not straightforward. You must keep looking for various physical, mental, and behavioral signs. When you feel they cannot function independently or their current caregiver can no longer provide the required level of support, it is a good sign that you should be considering moving them to a care home. Sometimes, families end up waiting for too long until a tragic incident occurs where the situation may force the parent to be moved immediately to nursing home care. It won’t give enough time to explore all the options.
Explore Options Carefully
Spend some time understanding the options available for taking care of your parent. Many senior living communities offer options like independent living, assisted living, or long-term nursing homes. Try to determine which is best for your parent based on the type of residents, location, facilities provided, the caregiving level, and the cost.
Have Open Communication
It is never easy to talk about the move, but the more you talk about it, the better prepared you and your parent will be. Include your parents as much as possible, so they don’t feel abandoned. Continue talking to them, listen to how they feel, understand their fears, and address them wherever possible. Making a schedule for visits and planning time with grandchildren may be beneficial. You could also arrange for frequent video calls or facetime to give them a sense of connection after they move out.
Take Tours of the Facility and the City Whenever Possible
Try to visit as many nursing care homes as you can and explore the options together if possible. It will help lighten the situation. Make sure to involve them while making choices. Remember the days when your parent took you around to visit colleges?
Visiting facilities will also allow you to observe the facility’s operations. Try to talk to the residents living there and get an idea of the facility’s food, emergency response services, and overall functioning. You may also decide to speak to the staff there to get more insights.
Once you decide on the facility, make frequent but short visits to familiarize yourself and your parent with the new setup.
Prepare for the Move
Moving to a nursing home may mean leaving the place they have lived for decades. They might have to downsize their belongings. Start talking to them earlier and prepare a list of furniture and other belongings they would like to keep or give away. You could also plan to organize their closet in the new place and make things easily accessible. Moving day is a highly emotional day in your parents’ life. Try to acknowledge and understand that and stay empathetic. How about making the moving day special by decorating their new place with balloons, ordering special meals, or doing something else that will make your parent happy?
Make It a Home
Moving into a new place like a nursing home should not mean giving away all your prized possessions. Take as many items as possible that will remind them of pleasant memories. It could be a favorite pillow, family photos, a favorite art piece, a comfortable chair, books, a blanket, or any number of things which will make them feel comfortable and connected.
Give Some Time for Adjustment
This is a significant and challenging change, and any change will take time to integrate. There will be difficult days, and you and your parent may feel overwhelmed. Continue to remind yourself of why you made this decision in the first place (better care, safety, health). Discuss any issues you have with the facility’s staff. Also, be present for your parent and make them feel cared for. You can also create a group with your immediate or extended family members with whom your parent is comfortable, and take turns visiting them whenever possible.
Help Them to Stay Social
Moving into a new place with no one to interact with can be intimidating. Involving them in group activities like arts & crafts, fitness clubs, and gardening could give them opportunities to make new friends. Try to create a schedule similar to what they already have and with activities they love.
Visit Them Regularly
When everything starts to settle, you and your sibling should keep visiting them regularly and make the visits as meaningful as possible. You can consult the caregivers at the facility to understand how well they have adjusted and the amount of interaction required. Keep checking on them and make sure they are comfortable.
Being the primary caregiver for your parent is a huge responsibility; sometimes, life makes us make tough decisions. Remember to stay patient and listen to your parent carefully throughout the process. It is a tough time for them, especially if one of the parents has to move out for better care. Make efforts to keep them as comfortable as possible but remember to take care of yourself too. It is easy to forget about your health when so many things are happening around you.
Medical care is an essential aspect to your elderly parents, and insurance coverage will make it slightly easier. If you are looking for insurance coverage for any kind of medical care, contact DeverCare. They offer consultation and support in selecting the right plan for senior adults. Contact (717) 392-6888 or click here for more details.