7 Strategies To Ease A Loved One’s Transition Into A Nursing Home
When it comes time to move a parent or loved one into a nursing home, it can be a time fraught with emotion. Even if the person in question is eager and willing to move. Remember that your senior loved one will be struggling with the loss of independence and anxious about this next chapter in their life.
And you’re likely feeling these emotions keenly too. Alongside questioning whether what you’re doing is the right thing at the right time. It’s important to remember that these feelings are completely normal and an expected part of the transition. But there are ways to make your loved ones transition into a nursing home much smoother.
- Visit Often
Nothing will help your parent or loved one more than seeing you often. Making sure you’re still a mainstay in their lives shows that you still care. And it gives them contact with the outside world, so they don’t feel so cut off.
But this rule might not be something you need to stick to during the early weeks. You know your parents and loved ones the best. Some people respond well to having constant help during a big change. While others will benefit from being left to their own devices for a few weeks. Talk to them about what suits them best at the start.
- Get Help
It takes a village to look after people. So mobilize yours if you need extra help, especially at the start. It can take a while to settle into a new routine. And you may not have all the time in the world to help your loved ones settle in. So make it a whole family and friends affair. This takes the strain off you and shows your parents just how many people care for them. And how many people are ready to help whenever they might need it again.
Remember that we all need extra help sometimes. And you never know what situation you might find yourself in. Unfortunately, cases of nursing home abuse have risen in recent years. So it helps to be prepared with a talented nursing home abuse lawyer if you run into problems.
- Acknowledge The Difficulties
It will help to speak about the move in a positive light. Of course, you want to get your parents or loved ones excited about their move rather than have them dreading it. But they will have concerns and fears. And if you spend the whole time drown out their worries with positivity, you won’t help quell their concerns at all.
Let them talk through their worries openly and honestly. Acknowledge their feelings and help them move forward through them in a positive light. They’re much more likely to listen to you in the future if you take the time to listen to them.
- Keep It Familiar
Assisted living facilities and nursing homes aren’t huge. So your parents’ move likely means they are downsizing. For some of them, that decrease will be considerable. As a result, you may find them missing all the things they love, and that make their home feel like theirs.
Take the time to surround them with belongings that will fit comfortably in their new home. This will help them settle in much easier and ease the sting of losing some of their belongings.
Interestingly, using their old belongings helps to make your parents feel more in charge too. You may be tempted to give them lots of new tech and furniture in a bid to make things easier. But all this does is overwhelm them with new things. Because everything about the nursing home is already unique.
- Have Boundaries
You will want nothing more than to ease the worries of your loved ones and make their transition a smooth one. But you still have a life, a job, and maybe a family to look after and be an active part of. Free up as much time as you can at the beginning, but know that it’s ok if you can’t be there all the time.
Set out strict boundaries at the start of what you can achieve comfortably regarding being there and helping out. Make your parents and loved ones aware of these boundaries kindly so they know what you can do with your time.
- Trust Your Instincts
There will be a lot of people in your ear telling you things. From what’s expected of you to how you should care for your parents. In the end, you know best. You know your parents best, so always trust your instincts.
- Give It Time
And most importantly, give it time. It takes time to settle into new places. And feelings you and your loved ones may have at the start will diminish as time moves on. So give it time.
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