Tips For Moving Into a Nursing Home

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Moving into a nursing home soon? Moving can be difficult for both the patient and the family. Below are some tips on making a smoother transition:
  1. Inform family and friends about the move. Give out the new address and phone number so communication can continue.
  2. Bring an address book so the patient can keep in contact with friends and family.
  3. Be sure to visit your loved one in the nursing home frequently.
  4. Have emergency contacts on an easily accessible list. Try laminating or using an inexpensive frame. Place it somewhere easy to access, yet is not readily viewable to visitors -- like inside a wardrobe door or bedside table drawer.
  5. Encourage the patient and familiy members to take part in the nursing home activities.
  6. Learn about patient rights.
  7. Bring a laundry basket or hamper. This will keep the resident's room tidy and will be helpful if family will be doing the laundry.
  8. Leave the jewelry and valuables at home, with relatives or in a safe deposit box.
  9. Bring shampoo and soap if the patient is sensitive or has brand preferences.
  10. Bring at least 7 days of clothing. If the patient will be participating in a rehab or walking program, bring extra sweatshirts, sweatpants or jogging suits. Also bring gym shoes with Velcro closures and two or three pairs of non-skid socks. Various sweaters or jackets are also a good idea, so your loved one is comfortable in varying weather and room temperatures.
  11. Bring personal items, like pictures, quilts/blankets, clocks, calendars & decorative items to make the space feel like home. Check with the nursing home to find out what is allowed. Any items you bring should be labeled with the patient's name.
  12. Make sure glasses, hearing aids and dentures as well as their containers are labeled with the patient's name.
  13. Extra furniture and clothing. While these items go a long way for the comfort of your loved one, space in a nursing home is limited. Consult with the nursing home before you bring these items.
  14. Bladder control products. Products like Depends are a must-have if your loved one has loss of bladder or bowel control. Nursing homes generally supply cloth products but these can be less effective and require more clothing changes.
  15. Have magazine and newspaper subscriptions forwarded to the nursing home.
  16. Check with the nursing home to find out what radio and TV sizes are appropriate or if these items are already provided. If you do bring them, make sure they are labeled with the patient's name.
  17. Phone and cable services. Consider whether the resident would benefit from having their own service and ask how they are arranged within the nursing home.
Got any tips? Please share them on our blog: moving into a nursing home.

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Learn more about nursing homes:

How to select the best nursing home
What to look for during a nursing home tour
Making arrangements at a nursing home
Tips for living at a nursing home