Dropping off a loved one in need of constant medical attention at a nursing home is a challenge that many people experience when dealing with elderly parents. Although it might be tough for you to take this step for a family member, you know deep down that it's for the better. For the family member being moved to a new environment, it can be easy to miss seeing the benefits because of some hesitation about the change in surroundings.
While the facility's staff members will collectively do their best to ensure your family member settles in as quickly as possible, there are a handful of ways you can help the process:
Tour The Facility
Depending on the health level of your family member, it's ideal to arrange a tour of the nursing home before the actual move-in date. This early visit allows your family member to see the many benefits of his or her new living arrangements, which can help to reduce anxiety about the move.
Nursing home tours are immeasurably informative -- a staff member will provide details about not only the facility, but also about the type of care the patient can expect to receive. Seeing friendly sights such as a games room, the cafeteria and an outdoor sitting area can all help your family member feel more positive about the upcoming change.
If your schedule allows it, see if you can volunteer for a few hours every week or two at the nursing home. Many nursing homes have a need for volunteers who can help in the cafeteria, perform general maintenance jobs or with programming for the home's residents. Being at the nursing home even once a week, for example, can help him or her see a familiar face and feel more at home in the new residence. You might consider taking along your child and making the idea of volunteering a family affair.
Visit When Possible
Visiting the family member as much as you can is a simple way to ease the person's transition into the nursing home. Schedule regular family visits or simply drop in for a spontaneous visit when you have spare time. During these visits, you can talk to a staff member about how your family member is getting along. If he or she is still having trouble with the adjustment, your visits can truly be valuable. If, however, the family member has made friends and is feeling comfortable, you can consider backing off the frequency of your visits.
Contact nursing homes near you for more information.