Home Away From Home: 3 Ways To Help Your Elderly Loved One Adjust To Nursing Home Life

If your loved one is moving into an assisted living or nursing facility soon, then you may have worries about how he or she will adjust to a new way of life. Remember that your loved one is moving because they need the safety and security that the nursing facility can provide. Remind your loved one of this fact, as well. Follow these tips to help your loved one transition into their new home in a happy and healthy way. 

1. Bring the Family to Meet the Staff

After you and your family members help move your loved one's belongings into the nursing facility, don't leave immediately after unpacking. Stick around for a while and encourage other family members to do the same. If you move in the morning or afternoon, you can often even order a meal tray to enjoy along with your loved one while they get used to the new scenery. 

After lunch, encourage your loved one to take a stroll around the facility to meet staff members and other residents. You can even stay and help prepare him or her for bed and chit-chat about the day and how it went. Set time aside to make it a special day, and your loved one will have a great memory of their first day at their new home. 

2. Don't Forget to Add a Few Touches from Home for Their Room

If you are unsure of what items will be present in your loved one's room, then be sure to find out before moving in. There is typically a television set, bed, nightstand and dressers. Nursing home rooms usually have few decorations present when you move in, so your loved one and family can decorate it how you you would like to. 

Bring family photos in frames to hang on the walls. Photos of family pets and favorite pieces of artwork are also great to place on walls with hooks. Flowers and plants are typically allowed as well, and a plant can be a great item for your loved one to water and care for proudly every day. 

3. Bring Some Favorite Snacks and Beverages

One of the most difficult aspects of nursing home living to adjust to can often be the controlled meal times and new foods introduced every day. Stock your loved one's room with snacks and healthy beverages that can be enjoyed leisurely whenever he or she wants to. This can help during the adjustment period when your loved one is feeling a bit shy and may not want to ask staff by asking for snacks outside of meal times. 

Once your loved one becomes more adjusted to the new nursing home schedule and meal times, then outside snacks or food will likely not be needed anymore, but it can still be good to have a few treats on hand. 

Moving into an assisted living home is a big event for your elderly loved one. Help make it a special day that he or she will look back upon fondly and encourage your family to help do the same.