Preparing to Move into a Nursing Home

 Moving a loved one, or yourself, into a nursing home is a very difficult choice. No one wants to put the care of a person that they love into the hands of another, but it’s very difficult to care for a person, or yourself, when his or her health is failing.

 Federal law requires a safe, clean environment that is homelike and comfortable.

By law, a person is required to have:

  • Appropriate bedding
  • Clean, comfortable mattress
  • Furniture that meets the resident’s needs
  • Bedding
  • Window for natural light
 
Residents will be given a space that they’re allowed to personalize in a meaningful way. The goal of a nursing home is for the person to live the rest of his or her life in comfort, being cared for by nurses and medical specialists. The care is given in an environment that is more like home than a hospital setting.
 
When moving into a nursing home, it’s important that the facility be visited by a loved one so that the resident can have an understanding of the space’s layout. 
A few of the items that will need to be provided are:
  • Personal care items that the family provides
  • Clothing
  • Accessories
  • Blankets, quilts or favorite pillows (to add at-home comfort)
  • Lap blankets 
  • Small electronics
  • Headphones
  • Smartphones / tablets
  • Family pictures
  • Artwork
  • Snacks or treats
  • Dentures
  • Containers
  • Medications
 
You can bring along mobility devices, and this may include the resident’s wheelchair, walker, geri chair or other device that adds to their comfort and mobility.
 
Nursing homes will often have two residents in a room, and it’s unacceptable to block the walking space of others. Most nursing homes will allow for a geri chair or furniture to be placed in the room, but it comes with the understanding that all walkways must be clear.
 
If the roommate cannot safely walk around the room or an item block is blocking his or her space, it will not be allowed.
 
You can have magazines and newspapers sent directly to residents, religious texts can be placed in rooms, and there can even be totes filled with the person’s favorite items, such as knitting supplies or supplies for painting. 
 
When providing loved ones with any items, add their name to the item with a label. The label should clearly state the person’s name. Items are often stolen, misplaced or returned to the wrong room. If a person is suffering from a mental illness, labeling can help them remember that the item does belong to them and not someone else.
 
Nursing staff will be able to keep track of the resident’s hygiene products, and they will inform the family when the resident is running low on such products.
Care specifics should also be provided to staff, and this is why it’s so important to review all plans with the nursing home at the time of admission.
 
This will also include any helpful information that you’ve learned while caring for your loved one. Triggers for agitation, and a list of conditions that your loved one is suffering from should all be listed. Providing any care tips you can will also be useful.
 
 
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