Here are some practical tips to help you support a loved one transition into a nursing home:
Have an open conversation with your loved one
Open and respectful conversations are at the heart of aged care transitions. While fear and hesitation are natural, frame the conversation around the benefits of aged care such as social company, less financial pressure, regular activities and safety.
Get to know the nursing home in question
Make time to visit the nursing home prior to your loved one moving there so that you can feel comfortable with the staff, the range of activities offered to residents, and the facilities. Share this information with your loved one to help relieve any nerves they have.
Keep their lifestyle as similar as possible
Nursing homes will limit the number and type of possessions you can bring in for your loved one, so focus on bringing the most important and sentimental. This could include their favourite chair, photos, books, scrapbooks, and music. Tell your loved one’s friends, faith community, and extended family about their move into care and encourage visitation and continued contact either personally or via the post and phone.
Seek help for yourself and share the care
If you find the prospect of your loved one moving into a nursing home particularly stressful, get help for yourself. Your doctor should be your first post of call. If you have siblings, seek to share the burden of the decision and ongoing visitation of your parent/s. Similarly, if it is your spouse going into care, and you have children, get them involved.