Transitioning to life in a nursing home is difficult for everyone, particularly when it means leaving independence and one's home behind. Although it may not be a long distance move, it is a change that requires special care. However, there are some steps the family can take to reduce the emotional stress that comes with moving into a nursing home or moving a family member into a facility.

Planning Helps, Particularly When Mobility is an Issue

All moves are hectic, even if you're being taken care of by a group of expert local movers. There are always things that seem to go awry during a move because the process of moving is so complex. However, the stress levels for everyone involved can go through the roof during a move into an assisted care facility or a nursing home.

Planning for moving day is the most important task you can undertake once the date and location for the move have been settled. That means calling local moving companies for a moving estimate and deciding what to sell, store, and transport. One of the biggest issues families have with a nursing home move is possessions and what to do with the furniture that won't fit at the facility.

Early work on deciding what to keep, what to sell, and what to store helps reduce the chaos and clutter that can occur at the nursing home. A family member in very poor condition may need a nursing home that resembles a hospital more than it does a new home. It's important to make those tough decisions early about keeping or donating furniture and possessions. Professional packing services can help you organize the items for easy storage.

Connect Personally with Staff During the Transition

The employees and health care professionals of the nursing home want to provide the best care, and getting to know the people who will care for your loved one – or who will care for you – can reduce everyone's anxiety levels.

If you're caring for an elderly parent and will be guiding the transition into the nursing home, you may want to make a list of the following information to share. These details are an incredible help in moves where the new resident is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

  • Details about the resident's behavior. Are they agitated easily or are they a relaxed and easygoing person?
  • A list of activities the resident enjoys. Do they enjoy the outdoors and leisurely walks outside or do they like watching TV and reading?
  • The level of assistance required. It's important for the staff to know what the resident needs as far as personal help whether it's assistance with bathing, dressing, or eating.
  • A list of family members. It's helpful for the staff at a nursing home to know the identities of family members for routine conversations each day with the resident.
  • Details on allergies and dislikes. Staff can help reduce anxiety and stress by avoiding foods or activities the resident dislikes, as well as avoiding foods that may cause an allergic reaction.

It's important for family members – if they're available – to meet with the staff and health care professionals at the nursing home well in advance of the move-in date. Every ounce of preparation ahead of time makes the transition into the nursing home easier for everyone involved.

Create a Homey Atmosphere

Nursing homes and similar facilities may offer very limited personal space for their residents, but there are still many options for creating a homelike atmosphere. Simple decorative items like the curtains from home and pictures of the family are quite effective in turning a plain room into a place where there are familiar features, and the atmosphere feels welcoming.

If you're caring for an aged relative or parent, you may consider taking some holiday decorations to the room to make things feel festive. When there aren't any immediate holidays, potted plants and green things create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere.

If you're looking at the possibility of relocating to a nursing home or you're helping someone close make that transition, start planning early by contacting local moving companies like Black Tie Moving to secure a date for the move. Moving to a nursing home is a huge life change, but preparing for the event will make everyone feel better about the move.