Helping Your Parent Adjust to a Nursing Facility

If you’re reading this, you’re probably facing the decision to place a parent into a nursing facility. You’re very likely feeling guilty, but don’t. If you didn’t care, you probably wouldn’t be bothering with finding ways to make the transition easier for your parent.

Facing the Facts

Many times, when children make this decision, it is after having spent a great deal of time caring for that parent and ultimately coming to the realization that it has become too difficult. The guilt associated with that decision is a normal response for any caring child. Often, the parent will be hurt or angry and lash out, causing even more guilt. It’s important to understand that making this decision doesn’t make you a bad person.

The Transition

There are many resources online to help you find the right place for your parent. There are some very good facilities, but it will very likely take a month or two for the transition. One of the most important things you can do for your parent is to listen. Allow them to be angry or make accusations without becoming defensive or reacting in anger. Be gentle and patient and let them know that you care about their feelings. Do everything you can to help them feel at home. Bring pictures or items from home to place around the room. Bring children and grandchildren to visit. This is unlikely to have any negative effect on the children, but will often have a very positive effect on your parent. Encourage friends and other family members to visit as well. Remember that this is your parent’s new home. When you visit, knock before entering instead of just barging in. Bring a deck of cards, or a picture album, or other activities to do during the visit.

Be Involved

Get to know the staff. Address any concerns you have with trusted staff members and if there are serious issues that come up, be certain you know how to get help. When there are meetings, bring notes and take notes. Involve other family members as much as possible. Visit often, but allow your parent to adapt to the new environment without being there every moment. Your involvement is important, but just as important is giving your parent the space and time to adjust.

Take Care of Yourself

Be sure that you have a support system available, especially in the beginning. This can be a very tough decision to make, and you may need a friend to help you through it. Don’t neglect yourself and your own needs. There are also support groups available to help you, both on and offline.

Contact Us

If you are concerned about the needs of your elderly parents or a disabled loved one, the law office of Andrew M. Lamkin, PC can help you. Contact them today at 516-605-0625 to get the help you need!

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