No one really wants to deal with the problem of how to move seniors out of their homes and into nursing homes. Still even a cursory look at our national demographics makes it clear that our population continues to age, in effect bringing more and more people to the point where entering a nursing home is really a matter of personal safety. When that time arrives for your parents are you ready to help make that move as peaceful as possible. You can think so until moving seniors you know out of their homes and into nursing homes moves from theory to reality. Then what?
A good place to begin moving seniors out of their homes and into nursing homes is with a realistic review of the situation. Line up all the facts that point to the need for the person involved to no longer reside in a private residence including health, safety, cooking, upkeep and other personal issues. Also put in order all the reasons moving from home to a nursing home seems the most reasonable alternative. This can mean isolating other possibilities and systematically ruling them out one by one.
Before attempting any effort to move seniors out of their homes and into nursing homes,you as the party bringing about the move, have to be convinced that this is the best possible resolution of daily living for the senior citizen involved. Unless you have confidence in advance in the planned change you may find yourself being very half hearted in your efforts which of course can cause the whole plan to begin to implode.
Once you are confident that moving from house to nursing home is necessary then you can move ahead to make the arrangements without looking back. You will need all your wits about you to complete the task so eyes need to be looking ahead.
One way to help seniors make a smooth transition from their home to a nursing home is to make the change in stages. Involve the senior as much as possible in the selection of a nursing home just as you would if they wanted to buy a new suit. The more the senior can feel invested in the choice the more willing they will be to seal the deal. No one wants to be “put” in a home but some people will go to the more secure location provided by a nursing home if they feel they have had a hand in making the choice.
Make sure you do all you can to provide frequent visiting opportunities to the nursing home at different times of the day or week so that the senior about to make the move begins to feel comfortable with the building, the routines, some of the staff and maybe even a few of the residents if possible. Most people don’t like to move because there is always the anxiety caused by the unknown. Breaking down those barriers by familiarizing the senior with his or her new home can take the stress down a notch or two for both of you.
The process of moving a senior from their own home to a nursing g home may go well up until the final moments. When you actually have to pass through those heart wrenching moments of physically leading or helping your parent or friend to get out of that chair they have sat in for decades, look once more at those familiar surroundings and all the accompanying memories and then walk away.
There is no easy way. There are likely to be tears all around. Your confidence that the right thing is being done and that adequate preparation has been made will help you get through this rough spot. You can take pictures of all the rooms and the yard, you can make sure that one or two favorite pieces of furniture get moved to the new residence, you can even divide up the move taking them out to lunch or out for a favorite walk along the way.
Mostly when it comes time to move seniors out of their home and to nursing homes what is needed is ample portions of kindness, firmness, understanding, humor and love. Don’t look for it to be fun, but believe that you have what it takes to make this most important move possible for your senior parents, relatives or friends.