Making a Successful Transition to a Skilled Nursing Community
Adapted from National Center for Assisted Living
Moving to a new home can be a stressful transition for anyone, and often even more so for an elder loved one. Supporting a loved one as they move into a skilled nursing home is vital to ensure this transition is as smooth as possible.
Here are some of the ways you can support a loved one:
- Acknowledge your loved one’s feelings of loss. Even in the best of situations—where your loved one willingly chose assisted living—grief and feelings of loss are to be expected. Leaving one’s home is a huge. Don’t minimize their feelings or focus excessively on the positive. Sympathize and respect feelings of loss and give them time to adjust.
- Call and visit as often as you can. Regular contact from friends and family will reassure your loved one that they’re still loved and cared for. Continue to include your loved one in family outings and events whenever possible. If your loved one lives far away, regular calls or emails can make a big difference.
- Work through concerns together. While your loved one will likely go through a period of adjustment after moving into an assisted living facility, don’t automatically assume that complaints are just part of the transition process. If your loved one has concerns, take them seriously. Talk about what steps you can take together to resolve the issue. And if the problem turns out to be a big one with no apparent solution, be prepared to look at other facilities.
- Help your loved one personalize their living space. Help your loved one choose and bring over the meaningful possessions and decorations that will give the new living space the feeling of home. But be careful not to take over. Let your loved one take the lead. He or she is going to be the one living here, after all.