6 Ways to Make a Skilled Nursing Facility More Like Homeadmin
When your elderly parents need more help than you can give them, a skilled nursing facility may be the best option to keep them healthy while maintaining a good quality of life. These facilities provide many of the comforts of home alongside skilled nursing care, but sometimes it can be hard for parents to transition to this new living environment. To make the transition go more smoothly, consider using these top strategies to help the new place feel like home.
A familiar face will make the new facility feel like home quickly. Even if you are handing over the day-to-day care to the qualified nursing care staff, your parents still want (and need) to see you. Make regular visits to the facility, and plan to spend time when you are there simply visiting and enjoying the company of your mom or dad. Don’t forget to have impromptu visits as well as planned visits for more casual, spontaneous interaction. If other family members live nearby, encourage them to visit as well. Arrange to visit together for a group gathering every once in awhile.
Bring an Item from Home
Your mom or dad will be bringing many items from home, but don’t forget to bring some special items that will add the personal touch to the new home. Your parent may have memories associated with items like a special picture, a piece of furniture, a blanket, or any other item that could help them decorate the new space in their own way. Many skilled nursing facilities are fully furnished, but that does not mean you can’t bring in your favorite items to give a feeling of home. This can help turn a “foreign” environment to something comfortable and familiar.
Bring Homemade Food
Your loved one will be fed healthy and well-balanced meals from the skilled nursing facility. Many of these facilities also offer their residents the option to cook in their own units, with small kitchenettes that allow them to bake or make small meals. Still, there’s something special about a family favorite cooked with love.
Bringing something that you made at home when you visit will bring back memories of past family meals together, and help the facility feel just a little bit homier. It also provides a break from the on-site food if the options are less than desirable or don’t meet your loved one’s particular tastes well, which is always a possibility.
Keep up Family Traditions and Routines
Do you enjoy family game nights on Tuesdays, or was Monday Night Football a family affair? Do you have special holiday traditions that are unique to your family? Don’t neglect these family traditions once your loved one is in a skilled nursing facility. The more “normal” life can be for them, the more at home they will feel. Pack up Monopoly or the popcorn and head to the nursing home to enjoy the tradition together, or if your loved one can travel to your home, take them out for these special evenings.
Do “Boring” Day-to-Day Tasks Together
Take your bills with you to the skilled nursing facility and do them while chatting with mom or dad. Talk about errands you ran that day when you visit. Discuss current events when you are together. While these daily activities may seem like a boring part of your day-to-day life, and not something worth chatting about, to someone who lives in a skilled nursing facility, these “boring” tasks help ground them with day-to-day life. It can also help them stay in touch with current events nationally and locally if thatâ€™s something they enjoy.
Go On Outings
Not all people who benefit from the help of a skilled nursing facility need around-the-clock medical care. If possible, take your loved one out of the facility and into the community. You can go shopping together, head to a restaurant for dinner, or even go to the movies. If that is too taxing, a simple walk outdoors can do wonders for your loved one’s health and spirits. Of course, this may not be possible due to health concerns or mobility issues, but if it’s possible, take them out of the facility for a little while from time to time.
Home Sweet Nursing Facility
Moving someone you love, especially a parent, to a skilled nursing facility is a big change. These facilities will take excellent care of your loved one, but they aren’t the same as “home.” With these tips, you can help bring a little bit of “home” to the nursing facility, so your loved one will have a smooth transition with minimal stress. It will help your spirits too.