Helping Elderly Parents Transition to Nursing Homes

Helping Elderly Parents Transition To Nursing Homes

Although change is a constant, accepting and adjusting to it can be challenging. Because of this, many of us need to be more adaptable.

This is especially true when older adults leave the comfort of their homes and move into an assisted living facility.

Therefore, it’s crucial to spend time with your seniors and provide them with the much-needed support, encouragement, and positive reassurance they require to become used to the new way of life.

Here are some effective tips to help with the transition for your senior parent.

Start Learning

Some steps can be taken ahead of time to help ease this transition.

Spend some time learning about senior living facilities, including the different types of housing they provide. Ensure you know the key distinctions among independent, assisted, and long-term nursing facilities. Talk about these with your parents and, most importantly, with your parent’s doctor. They ought to be involved in every step. Memory care will be a key priority if your parent has memory loss or neurocognitive issues. 

Things you need to learn about include:

  • Healthy aging surroundings, therapies, and support systems for memory care. Ask questions to educate yourself. All of these actions are supportive of your continuing to be your parent’s caregiver and advocate.
  • Medical treatment, safety, security, and food options (such as diabetic diet programs). 
  • Think about places that provide whole continuums of care, such as physical therapy, on-site hospitals and clinics, diagnostic exams, and more. If they don’t, ensure you are familiar with the procedure for receiving emergency medical care and that your parents are aware of and at ease with the plan.

Communicate with Empathy

Recognize that your parents may feel some apprehension and dread. That is typical. Tell your parents it won’t last forever. Talk about your goals, such as scheduling weekly visits or reserving enough space for your family and grandchildren. Talk about how you’ll frequently face time with elders using a tablet or iPad. Make sure your parents have the chance to express any preferences.

Try putting yourself in your parents’ place through the most difficult times. Recognize any possible loss sensations. Your parents can feel lonely, losing their sense of direction, or even like a burden. Try to turn the bad into the good by empathizing with these emotions. Tell them about the advantages of this lifestyle shift, but don’t minimize their feelings. They are real.

Make Visiting Facilities Together an Adventure

Do you recall how your parents handled your visits to the college campus? It was a large, thrilling, and occasionally frightful adventure. Both tears and laughter were present. Both successful and unsuccessful visits. You both accomplished it, and it’s one of your favorite memories, as many facilities as you can show your parents. Together, decide on options. Create some anticipation for activities you believe your parents will be interested in. Be sincere with your parents and with yourself.

Prepare for an Adjustment Period

Make sure everyone in the family knows the difficulties that change will bring. Everyone will need some time to acclimate. Create a cooperative family team. Plan alternate communication with personnel, especially during the initial months following a move. If you discuss the change in advance, your parents will have more time to get used to it and be more ready. Pay attention to what your parents are saying. It’s important to communicate if there are problems. Availability and presence are key. Make a visitation schedule in advance.

Establish a Level of Comfort Before the Move

Visit your parents and other family members once you have decided on the ideal community. With short, regular visits, everyone will feel more at home and at ease in the new setting. Attend meals and gatherings if you can. Take pictures of their new home and decorate and plan using them.

Above all, learn to unwind and cultivate calmness. Your parents’ new way of life will probably be improved. Just give it some more time.

Making A Nursing Home Feel Like Home

Did You Know?

Personal belongings in the private rooms of nursing home residents can contribute to their development of a sense of home.

Journal Of Housing For The Elderly 

Making their surroundings feel more like home may be the simplest method to adjust as inviting as possible. Put sentimental items like family photos and home decor. These things can help an assisted living apartment or nursing home feel more like a home. With their furry buddy there, a pet-friendly assisted care facility can help residents feel more at home.

What to Do When Elderly Parent Refuses a Nursing Home?

There are instances when elderly parents may refuse to go to a nursing home or receive caregiving services which can be an understandable and natural response.

Here are some tips from to help you convince your older loved ones:

  • Consult your relatives and siblings first. Make sure you’re on the same page and discuss choices beforehand. By doing this, conflict and stress will be reduced.
  • Stop pushing. Don’t make parents feel pressured. Over several weeks, months, or even years, this topic needs to be repeated.
  • Feelings and listening. Many older adults demonstrate outside nursing homes or assisted living facilities to let their loved ones know why they are doing so. Trust is developed through listening to them compassionately rather than imposing your agenda.
  • Emphasize the advantages. Many seniors mistakenly believe that living in an assisted living facility or a nursing home means “giving up,” yet well-run institutions provide thriving social environments, freedom, peace of mind, and more time to enjoy life. Your loved one should be reminded of these advantages and how they can enhance their quality of life.
  • Seize opportunities to teach. Is cleaning too much to handle? Do they feel alone? Discussions on how assisted living might help parents live more completely can start with a parent’s pain areas.
  • Give them the reins. Nobody wants to be told what to do as a parent. Instead, find out how they would suggest resolving the issue. Give them options after asking about their priorities. One family even created a flip chart to help their children understand what their parents valued most.
  • Bring in support. A third party may occasionally defuse a volatile situation. Think about conversing with your loved one with a reputable doctor, spiritual advisor, or counselor.
  • Express your emotions. Most parents don’t want to be a burden on their children. Tell them how it might affect you in a way that allows them to sympathize without placing blame on them. You may remark, for instance, “We want more quality time with you,” or “It’s getting tougher to balance with kids.”
  • Find companions. Are any of your parents’ friends content in an assisted living facility? A network that is already there can change everything.
  • Embark on a few active tours. When your loved one can observe individuals flourishing, visit facilities. Make plans for them to participate in enjoyable classes or activities or serve lunch in the dining hall.
  • Try a stopgap measure. Prioritize in-home assistance. Your parents might favor a community’s independence if they don’t think the idea is great.
  • Make use of an elder care attorney. Know your legal alternatives for guardianship or power of attorney if you need to make decisions regarding your finances or health.
  • Put love and trust first. The most crucial thing is to maintain your relationship with your parents.


Your parents have always been there for you through good and bad times. Hence, it is only right for you to be there during this important time of their lives. You must help make their transition into assisted living or nursing homes as smooth as possible to make sure that they’ll be able to receive the care they need and spend their golden years comfortably. 

Undoubtedly, the first few days in the nursing home community will be difficult. Help your older parents live a happy and healthy life by using the advice provided in this post to help them settle into their new home.