Moving Into a Nursing Home: The Ultimate Guide

Moving Into A Nursing Home

After deciding to move into a nursing home, your next step is to prepare for the moving process. This part is a direct dose of reality for everyone involved since moving a loved one into a nursing home is dreadful and emotional for most.

We have put up a thorough nursing home packing list and relocation guide for seniors and their carers to ease your concerns and guarantee that you and your elderly loved one enjoy a seamless transition into a nursing home. This article highlights crucial inquiries to make of the facility before moving in and offers advice on what nursing home residents will and won’t require.

Information to Gather Before Move In

Visit the space where your loved one will reside (or one very similar to it). You may then see how much floor and storage space there is. There must be adequate space for caregivers to safely move and care for your loved one and manage a wheelchair or other mobility equipment.

See whether the facility will take out and store the supplied furniture so it may be brought in. Request a floor plan and dimensions to ensure your loved one’s things fit without cluttering the space or causing a safety hazard.

You may also ask the common questions below from Aging Care that can tell a lot about what things need to be bought or left at home. 

  • Do you give towels and bedding?
  • Is linen cleaning a part of the service?
  • Is cable a monthly expense and available in my loved one’s room?
  • A phone, what about one? Are both local and international phone services offered?
  • Is there free, secure public wifi available?
  • Do you offer personal laundry services for a fee?
  • Is a corkboard or whiteboard available for posting schedules, menus, notes, and images?
  • Do they offer personal care items, a TV, or a wall clock?
  • Is it permitted for residents to have a mini-fridge in their rooms?

Don’t think twice about asking questions; consider requesting answers in writing.

List out the costs of services.

  • Establish a clear knowledge of the care costs with the administration. Understand the costs that Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance all cover.
  • Know what the nursing homes charge for in terms of “additional” services
  • Understand the nursing home contract in its entirety before moving in.

Before moving in, it’s also important that you thoroughly understand the costs associated with the nursing home you chose and the services they offer.

Making A List Of All The Things To Do

After gathering all the information you need from the nursing home you or your loved one is moving into, the next thing is to make a list of all the other things you have to get done, such as:

Who needs a call:

  • Utility services
  • Postal address change
  • Health insurance
  • Cable TV
  • Telephone

What is the moving plan:

  • How it’s going to happen
  • What’s moving
  • Who’s organizing the loved one

What’s the family plan:

  • The assistance you require throughout and after the transfer
  • Plan your family’s visitation schedule; who will go and how often.
  • Organize a family discussion
  • Learn how each person plans to engage in the action.
  • If you need to, hire an elder care manager or attorney.

Nursing Home Packing Lists

Aside from deciding to move your loved one into a nursing home, helping them pick and choose what to pack and what to purge is one of the most difficult parts of this transition.

To help you with this part, here’s a sample packing list that you can use:

Personal Care Products and Medications:

  • Any needed dentures, supplies, and container
  • Electric razors or razors, shaving, and aftershave lotions
  • Makeup, body powder
  • Hair supplies, including comb, brush, shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Facial tissues

Clothing and Accessories:

  • Full sets of undergarments and 2 washable sweaters
  • Stockings or socks and 4 nightgowns or pajama sets
  • Flat, non-skid shoes and 1 coat or jacket
  • Washable, non-skid slippers and 1 robe
  • Casual outfits and 2 belts

Linens and Bedclothes

  • Bedding and towels
  • Warm blankets or quilts
  • Smaller lap blanket or throw

Electrical Items & Technology

  • Small TV (if not provided)
  • DVD Player
  • Smartphones, tablets, and laptops

Other Items

  • Photos and photo albums
  • Souvenirs
  • Hobbies

Keeping Track of Personal Things at the Nursing Home

  • Your loved one’s name must be prominently displayed on every item. In the wash, it’s simple to mix up clothes and other stuff.
  • To swiftly and easily label all other objects, use permanent markers on clothing and fabrics and labels with your loved one’s name and room number that you buy or manufacture.
  • Decorative patches can be ironed or sewn to subtly identify garments without seeming like labels. To the best of your abilities, label objects like furniture and durable medical equipment like walkers and hearing aids, as well as personal care products and denture cases.
  • Bring nothing of value with you. Remember that many people will enter and exit your loved one’s room daily. Things are going to disappear at some point. It’s possible they were misplaced and will be found, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Several nursing facilities inventory their possessions when a new person first moves in. Find out if the facility where your loved one receives care does this. If it isn’t, think about making an inventory form so you can keep track of their belongings and figure out if anything needs to be taken or misplaced.
  • On the day of move-in, ask the admissions coordinator or the director of nursing to sign this inventory. If you have a documented move-in list, you are considerably more likely to get the facility to replace a lost item.

Making Emotional Preparations

Once all the other things are settled, and all left to do is the moving part, it is time to prepare everyone involved emotionally since being separated from loved ones is an emotional process.

This part is where you can settle the guilt and sadness that can be felt when sending a family member into a nursing home.

Some of the things you may do are to:

  • Consult the nursing home’s social worker for advice on how to deal with the worry, panic, disorientation, and other feelings that the loved one and family members will experience.
  • Invite a friend or family member to join you.
  • Recall the rationale behind your loved one’s action.
  • Think back to how it was for your loved one to reside alone at home.
  • Seek out the assistance of people who have experienced this previously.

On The Day Of Admission

When the actual admission day arises, knowing what to do to better help your family members is also important.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Give yourself time to deal with whatever arises.
  • Get ready to remain all day.
  • Inquire with admissions about what to expect on moving day.
  • Make sure you know what is expected of you and your family.
  • Understand your rights as well.
  • Discuss additional crucial information with the nursing home staff.

Family members must learn how the system works in the nursing home they choose for their loved ones. The family members, the senior, and the staff should communicate clearly and keep each end updated.


Moving into a nursing home can be a difficult decision for you and your loved one. A nursing home room will not be more comfortable than their long-term residence in the neighborhood. But try to take advantage of the opportunity to build them a new home that is cozy, secure, and full of enjoyable experiences. Your loved one ought to be able to thrive here and get the assistance they want which is possible with the love and support of the family as well.