Make Your Nursing Home More Like Home
Moving to a nursing home is never an easy transition. Besides the entire stigma attached to the move, there is no way that a nursing home room is going to feel as comfortable as the familiar surroundings of home. This can cause the person to lash out and complain, or become sullen and depressed. However, there are plenty of things that friends and family can do to make the stay at the nursing home more attractive.
First, the furnishings of a room are part of what makes it more comfortable and homey. While your loved one may be restricted to using a hospital bed, you may be able to move in their favorite chair to sit in and relax throughout the day. Pictures of the family and beloved knickknacks can also put a spark of familiarity to the room, and give them something to talk about with visitors and nurses. Many nursing homes will allow you to redecorate the room to your loved one's tastes, so be sure to ask and see what is allowed. You may find that it takes only a few small touches to give the room a whole new feel.
Besides furnishings from home, there are other ways that you can spruce up the look of a room. Rugs and curtains in your loved ones favorite colors can add a whole new dimension. However, keep in mind that if your loved one is sharing a room, you can only decorate their half.
Mementos from the past can serve two functions - they can bring back fond memories and help a person deal with changes in the present. Consider bringing family heirlooms that you know your loved one is particularly found of. A quilt that their mother sewed can go neatly on the foot of the bed. A favorite antique doll can sit on a shelf or in a chair in the room. These also make great conversation starters when people come to visit.
Some nursing homes will allow a mini-fridge in the room. If so, you can stock it up with some of your loved one's favorite snacks and drinks. These can be served at their leisure, if allowed, or given to the nursing staff as a treat for the regular snack time.
The move into a nursing can be a difficult one for your loved one. Anything that you can do to make them feel more at home can make the transition easier. The nursing home itself may also be able to give you suggestions of things to bring to make the move smoother.
Having items that they recognize and food that they like can make the switch to a nursing home easier for your loved one. Also, keep in mind that one of the hardest parts of the situation is dealing with the loneliness. Take time to visit your loved ones as often as possible, especially during the initial adjustment, can help them to still feel attached to the outside world and help to stave off depression. You can also gauge their comfort level and see what other items you can bring to make their stay more pleasant.