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Transitioning Into a Nursing Home Can Be Scary – Keep These Tips In Mind Christina Morales

January 6th, 2015

Transitioning Into a Nursing HomeChange is scary and transitioning into a nursing home can be one of the scariest changes. Being on the cusp of the unknown and having worst case scenarios scroll through your mind can make one almost paralyzed to move forward. In the case of moving into a nursing home, there are the added fears of poor care, neglect from family members, and being surrounded by ailing patients. There are several things that you can do to help your loved one have a smooth transition into a nursing home facility.

First of all, remove the myths and unfounded fears that come with the thought of a nursing home. For many, nursing homes are just a short term facility for those who have a medical condition that needs additional medical attention. Also research the history of the facility to find if there are any reports of abuse, neglect, or health violations.

Secondly, keep things as routine as possible. See if your loved one can still be cared for by their own doctor. You may want to visit on the same day at the same time every week. Bring pictures and cards from grandchildren and other family members. Put a familiar blanket on the end of the bed. For a female patient, have a friend or family member attend to her grooming by giving her a manicure, a haircut, or bringing a pretty bathrobe. For male residents, bring a favorite genre of book, a radio, or give him lessons on how to use an iPad. Anything that can stimulate the mind and keep up morale is worth investing in.

Next, get all of their paperwork in order. Much of the stress of moving into a nursing home is the thought of “what if….” Your loved one should have a living will set in place and an appointed power of attorney. Also review their finances along with Medicare coverage and insurance policies to alleviate one of the biggest stressors that seniors face: money.

Finally, involve your loved one in the decision making process as much as possible. If they can’t visit homes, take pictures or look on the internet with them to show what their available choices are. Let them pick out what few belongings they would like to bring with them (pending facility rules).

The best way to help your loved one transition into this new senior living arrangement is to reassure them that they are loved and will not be forgotten. If a problem arises, you’ll be there to take care of it. When they get lonely, you will come at your usual time or will call on a regular basis. You’ll need patience and breaks now and then, but just being available for the first week of transition can make all of the difference.


  1. Hugh Greenidge April 6, 2015

    Some seniors do not have to go directly to a nursing home if they are ambulatory and just need help with ADLs and medication assistance.

    Personal Care Homes in Georgia are a good choice for some. Some seniors will thrive much better in a smaller community. Care is person centered and the community is much cozier, very much like their own home. Capacity in these homes is usually between three to six residents. These private homes eliminate the stigma of living in a “facility”

    These homes are licensed and regulated by the state and similar standards are required by the state.

    Always research, as you would with the nursing homes.

    You may be fortunate enough to find one close to home, so travel will not be a problem. Twenty four hour supervision is provided.


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