Tips on How to Adjust When Moving into a Nursing Facility


Tips on How to Adjust When Moving into a Nursing Facility

Transitioning into life in a nursing facility can be challenging.  It often includes feelings of loss, such as the loss of a familiar home environment, loss of status, and loss independence and control. But once the resident is settled and adjusted, a nursing facility can dramatically improve the quality of life.  

At Bella Vista Health Center, some of the benefits our residents receive include safety and security, medical nutrition therapy, regular social interaction, an accessible support network of care providers, and activities and special programs that uplift spirits and keep residents engaged. 

Some residents adjust quickly. Others require more time to get comfortable and settle in to new routines. Here are some tips for helping your loved one adjust to life in a nursing facility. 

Bring items from home

Although the room in the nursing facility may not be spacious enough for large items, you can bring small items to decorate it and make the environment more home-like and comfortable. Pictures and picture albums are a source of great comfort for many residents of nursing facilities. They can also be wonderful conversation starters between your loved one and staff members or other residents. Special bedding or blankets are also great items to bring.   

Visit often

It’s important to remind your loved one that moving to a nursing home does not mean the loss of family and friends. When you visit often, and encourage the same from other friends and family members, it will help him understand that he is not isolated and that the important relationships can remain intact through the change. 

Listen with love

During the transition, your loved one may express complaints, opinions, and questions about the new arrangements.  The best you can do is to listen lovingly and offer understanding.  It’s important that you don’t try to talk your loved one out of feeling the way she does. Allow her to express herself and do your best to offer empathy and compassion.

Look on the bright side

If your loved one gets stuck in a loop of complaints or fears about wanting to go back home or leave the facility, you can help by redirecting him to some of the positives of the experience. Take him for a walk around the facility and encourage interaction with staff and other residents.  Point out the pictures on the walls or the flowers growing on the grounds.  Your influence can help your loved one see the benefits of life in the nursing facility. 

Separate your feelings from his

When you place a loved one in a nursing facility, you may be filled with feelings of sadness, guilt, or fear. If you’re not careful, these feelings can influence the experience your loved one has. He may pick up on your fears and become agitated. It’s important that you find an outlet where you can express your feelings, such as a support group or a mental health professional, so that when you visit the nursing facility, you can help your loved one look on the bright side.

Stay involved and informed

Get to know the staff and other residents at the nursing facility. Familiarize yourself with the routines, and stay abreast of the calendar of activities.  The more involved you are, the less anxious you’ll feel, and the more you can help assuage your loved one’s anxieties. Additionally, you’ll get to know the families of other residents, and they’ll get to know you. This familiarity will help give you a sense of security for your loved one’s well-being even when you can’t be there.  

We support our residents and their families, too.

At Bella Vista Health Center in Lemon Grove, we see family members as part of the team. You know your loved ones better than anyone, and your advocacy and encouragement means everything to the residents. We support the involvement of our residents’ families, and we provide local transportation services for those who need them.  

If you have questions about our services and facilities or want to schedule a tour, please call or drop by. We look forward to serving you and your loved ones in any way we can.