5 ways to make the move from home to nursing home a smooth transition

No matter how your loved one comes to be in care — whether it’s self-referral, family referral, GP referral, or through an incident, accident, or hospital visit — making the transition from home comforts to the nursing home environment can be tough. 

The good news is that almost everything is handled on your behalf. While you’ll still need to pack and arrange delivery of your loved one’s clothes, furniture, and belongings, all of the important behind-the-scenes work is carried out by the nursing home staff. We liaise with the GP and/or hospital so that, upon arrival, you’ll find a clean, welcoming room and all the necessary equipment and medical requirements in place.  

We’re also on-hand throughout to provide support and advice as your loved one settles into their new home — but to make the move easier for all involved, here are a few things you can do. 

5 Tips to Help Your Loved One Settle into A Nursing Home

1. Do your best to make their room a home

We always recommend that you try and set up the room ahead of move-in day, if possible. That way, it feels more familiar and far less daunting. It’s a good idea to replicate the decor and layout within the space provided so that it’s similar in style to your loved one’s home. Consider displaying personal items, nick-nacks, pictures, paintings, books, games, and other cherished belongings that will trigger happy memories.

Of course, when the move-in day rolls around, it’s just as important that you listen to your loved one’s feedback. Work with them to make the space as comfortable as possible. 

Read more: What to bring when moving into a nursing home

2. Be proactive and work with nursing home staff

We like to remind our residents and their families that we’re all on the same team. If your loved one is unhappy about something, or if you’ve encountered a problem or you’ve got a question, talk to us. 

Here at Fulford, it’s our job to make sure our residents are comfortable, happy, and safe. Don’t be afraid to ask your questions or make special requests; we’ll always do our best to give you an answer or find a way to accommodate your loved one’s specific needs. 

3. Visit as often as you can

Feelings of boredom, loneliness and abandonment rank high among common nursing home fears, and it’s easy to understand why. If your loved one has been receiving at-home care from a partner, friends, or family members, the change in routine can be stark.

This can be overcome by making sure you’re visiting as often as possible. In many cases, residents soon pick up on the difference between having caregivers around them at home and spending quality time with the ones they love during their visits to the nursing home. 

4. Join in with activities, day trips, and special events

The COVID-19 pandemic has made nursing home activities a strictly controlled affair, but under normal circumstances, loved ones are encouraged to attend whenever possible. 

In addition to regular visits, taking an interest in the nursing home’s social calendar shows that you’re embracing the change in the right way. Your enthusiasm can sweep your loved one along and help them see the nursing home for what it is — a new chapter where they can learn new things and make new friends. And this brings us neatly to our next tip… 

5. Remember: positivity is contagious

When the signs that it’s time for a nursing home become too great to ignore, it can be difficult and emotional for all involved. Such a big move is fraught with trepidation as your loved one leaves behind their home and routine for something new, and it’s only natural that they approach it with a touch of negativity. That’s why it’s your job to bring some positivity to proceedings. 

Your loved one will look to you for emotional support during this trying time. Try to maintain a sunny outlook and help them see the benefits (and opportunities) in moving to a nursing home — whether it’s for short, respite care, or something more long-term.  

One Last Thing: Be Kind to Yourself, Too

The transition from home to nursing home won’t just impact your loved one — it’ll alter your life too. In many ways, you’ll find things will change for the better. You’ll have fewer worries when it comes to leaving your loved one at the end of the day, as you’ll know they’re in safe hands, and time spent together can be more meaningful.  

However, it’s only natural that you grieve for a way of life that’s now in the past. Seeing a parent or a partner leave the family home for the last time can be overwhelming and sad, and so you must take some time for yourself to come to terms with the change. 

If You Want to Talk, We’re Ready to Listen

With brochures, visits, FaceTime calls (in the current climate) and staff tours, choosing the right nursing home is often the easiest part. But moving day and the settling-in period that follows can present its own set of challenges. Hopefully, these tips can help you and your loved one make a smooth transition to a new way of living. 

If you’d like to learn more about Fulford Nursing Home or arrange a visit, please contact us on 01904 654 269. We’re ready to listen and happy to help.

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