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The Nursing Home Transition: Talk About Feelings Early

For many people, moving into a nursing home can be emotional. To help make the transition easier, talk about expectations and feelings beforehand. Skilled nursing facilities can help improve an elderly person’s quality of life by providing around-the-clock expert care. Focus on the positives and benefits of moving into a long term care facility when talking to a loved one about making the move.

Long term care can be the most loving choice

Caregiving for a loved one can be a full-time job. For people who already have full-time jobs, at a certain point, caring for a loved one at home is no longer sustainable. In many cases, putting a loved one in a nursing home is the most loving choice to help ensure the best care possible.

When broaching the topic with a loved one, focus on these benefits and positives. Reassure of love and support. Enlisting the help or support of another family member or even a healthcare provider may help make the conversation go more smoothly.

Listen more than you talk

Even if transitioning to long term care is clearly necessary, there will be a lot of emotions and concerns. When bringing the topic up to a loved one, prioritize listening. The person will likely have a lot of fears and feelings. Validating feelings and giving space to process will make the transition easier on the whole family.

How often should you visit?

When making the move to a skilled nursing facility, people often have fears of loneliness and seeing loved ones less often. Visiting often for short amounts of time can make the transition go more smoothly. During the conversation about the move, caregivers may consider talking through visiting expectations to reassure that loved ones will still see each other regularly.

Provide familiarity

Providing as much familiarity as possible will make the transition to a nursing home easier. Favorite blankets, pictures, books, or other objects can make the person feel more at ease and at home. Additionally, make sure that the caregivers in the nursing home know what objects or routines help make a loved one feel more relaxed.

Processing emotions will take time

Transitioning a loved one to a nursing home is not easy. But the move is often the best, most loving choice. Allow for time to process emotions and get used to the transition. Often, 24/7 care will help improve an elderly person’s quality of life and the burden of stress on family members.