As we make memories with our loved ones, we also get to see them age and get to a point where they need assistance in living.
While seniors would prefer to live in their homes forever, sometimes it becomes incredibly hard, and we are left with the ultimate decision to move into a nursing home.
But how can one prepare a love one for this inevitable decision? How can one make it easy to transition to a new environment?
If you are journeying though the decision of getting your loved one admitted in a nursing home, this article is a guide for preparing them.
How To Prepare Seniors For Nursing Home (Quick answer)
Preparing your loved one is an essential step to making their stay in the nursing home great. Preparation includes packing their essentials, talking to them, creating a to-do list for their free time, and ensuring they have all they need.
Ways To Prepare Seniors For a Nursing Home
Packing All the Essentials
Helping your loved one pack is a good way to make sure that they have everything ready and nothing is forgotten. As you pack, remember to throw in their sentiment items. Packing their favorite things makes their new home feel familiar.
Sometimes, seniors complain that they feel as if they are in a strange place in nursing homes. Having familiar items with them makes their new home familiar and more comfortable. Some items that may help seniors feel more comfortable include:
- Family photos
- Their favorite book
- Comfortable clothes
- Cozy blanket
- A working watch or clock
Give Them Affirmation
One of the fears that seniors work through when being placed in a nursing home is abandonment. Sometimes, they may feel abandoned if there are no familiar people around. You should affirm that you will visit them often.
Even better, create a visiting schedule and mark the dates you plan on visiting on their calendar. This gives them things to look forward to during their stay at the nursing home. It is also important to visit as scheduled to avoid frustrating your loved one.
Plan New Hobbies
Although there are schedules in nursing homes, you should create some free time for their hobbies. This can be a replacement of former hobbies or a continuation of their existing hobbies.
If the nursing home allows them to engage in games such as tennis or golf, ensure that your loved one has the best equipment for this. You can get them hybrid golf clubs or new golf balls to help them look forward to.
Walk Them Through Everything
Regardless of whether they will be staying at the nursing home for the short term or long term, it is good to walk them through the schedule.
Being aware of what to expect in the nursing home to make life easier when they get there. It helps them sync into the new schedule easily in their new home. If they are used to a flexible routine, walking them through the nursing home routine prepares them for a change in their routine.
Activities To Do When You Visit a Senior In a Nursing Home
Once you decide how often to visit your loved one in the nursing home, you need to make plans prior to the visits. To make these visits memorable, there are certain fun activities you can engage in to help take them off the normal routine that they are used to.
Here are some ideas of fun activities that can keep seniors engaged:
- Create a playlist that you can listen to. If your parents or grandparents love music, create a playlist of their favorites.
- Keep them updated with what you have been up to. If they ask about their old neighbors or relatives, happily update them so that they will feel part of your life.
- Teach them something new. Learning a new skill keeps seniors engaged.
- Watch their favorite show together. Bring your laptop or tablet and enjoy some screen time with them
- Read together. If they love reading, you can create a book club for two and read together when you visit.
Preparing your loved one for their new home is important in making them feel comfortable. Seniors need to be prepared for this major change in their way of living. They need someone to guide them and help them with the transition.
Preparation is not just packing together; it is ensuring that they are ready to start new routines, and live in a different place than they are used to. Giving them affirmation on their fears works amazingly in preparing them for their new home. Give them hope and activities to be excited about.