A common cliche in American culture these days is that nursing homes are the worst possible outcome for the elderly. In reality, nursing homes staff some of the most caring people in the world, and moving your elderly parents to a nursing home is often to best way to guarantee a high level of care for them. Nursing homes are frequently painted as boring places filled with senile people, but the reality is that seniors can have vibrant, fun years in retirement communities, taking full advantage of the company of those around them and the assistance of the staff.
Here are some easy tips for making the transition process easier for your family.
1. Help Them Feel at Home
This is a very important of the adjustment process. Seniors are frequently somewhat hesitant to move into assisted living settings or retirement communities because of the major life changes that sort of moves includes.
To make the transition process a bit easier, help your parents set up their new living space in a way that allows them to feel at home. Bring over furniture and decorations from their old home, and set things up the same way they might have at home.
In addition, be sure to continue your relationship with them just as you did before. Frequent visits can be helpful, as they remind your parents you are not just shutting them away in a home. The decision to move should be a positive one, and you can reinforce that by communicating and visiting frequently.
2. Facilitate the Move
Your parents will likely have to deal with enough emotional stress with the move to a new setting without having to worry about the logistics of the transition.
Help out wherever you can. If they are bringing lots of furniture, you can help bring items over to the new home or hire movers to help out with the job. You should also offer to take the lead on tasks like selling the current home, because that can be a major source of stress. Throughout the process, it is important to be available but allow your parents to remain independent. Don’t be overbearing with suggestions, but make sure they know they have your support if needed.
Throughout the transition, it is also important to stay organized. Make sure you have a good grasp of your parents’ finances, as this will help account for nursing home costs and help you strategize when it comes to selling the house and other items. In addition, have their medical information readily available in case something happens down the road and they need to transition to skilled care. Apps like Family Medical Manager make this part extremely easy, and you should find ways to organize all of the other necessary information for the move.
3. Encourage Your Parents to Be Positive
Above all, it is vital to maintain a positive attitude, both for yourself and for your parents.
Keep in mind that the move to a nursing home should be less about giving up responsibility on your part and more about putting your parents in the best situation possible. Seniors can feel very lonely when isolated in their own homes, and retirement communities offer a chance to make new friends and enjoy life. In addition, living in such a setting takes away the stress of managing a household, and your parents will have much better access to any medical care they may need.
Living in a retirement community or nursing home should not be about giving up on normal life. Rather, it should be about making life easy and positive.