It’s never easy to bring your grandparent, parent, or other relative to a nursing home. You may feel guilty about it, but it’s usually a necessary move. As we age we need help with many things. If you’re feeling uneasy about taking your loved one to a facility for the elderly, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure they are comfortable and have whatever they need. Senior living homes care for your loved one greatly, but everyone is different and different things make them comfortable. Here are five ways to help your elder loved one feel as comfortable as possible at a senior living facility.
Bring Photos & Curate their Environment
You should make an effort to curate the room and environment of your loved one. Bring photos of their family and friends. Not only will this make them happy and comfortable, photos and familiar items will help keep their memory. Do they have specific things that they like to have around? Pillows, stuffed animals, and accessories from home will help the transition and provide comfort in a foreign environment. Whatever reminds them of home and good times should be brought to the senior facility to make them comfortable and keep their identity alive.
Design their Bathroom
While the senior living facility will likely already have holding bars and railings in the shower and bathroom, you should make design changes you can at the home. A shower bench or chair is quite helpful. Put in a high toilet with a bidet. Create organized storage space that they can easily access. Non-slip flooring will help stop them from falling. A tub with a walk-in door can also facilitate the process of getting in and out of the tub. Finally, an emergency alert button in the bathroom will help your loved one call for help should something happen. Think about whatever the facility doesn’t have and ask them about it. You can even offer to install these things if it is a budget issue.
Bring Books & Movies
What movies and books do your elders like? It’s necessary to bring ways for your loved one to entertain themselves. Keeping busy is quite important. You should bring books, movies, magazines, and other sources of entertainment. Think about what they like and bring a few different options so that they can stay entertained. Life can get boring for seniors. The busier they stay, the happier they will end up being. In addition to books and movies, crossword puzzles, games, and other ways to pass the time will make all the difference to how they feel at the facility.
If your loved one is sharing a room with someone, you will probably want to bring office room dividers to separate their space and give them privacy. Nobody wants to share a room with someone they don’t know. It’s a great idea to provide your loved one with a way to keep their privacy and dignity intact. Of course you should talk to the roommate about it, but if there aren’t currently dividers separating their space most people will prefer some privacy.
Communicate with Staff
Finally, one of the most important things you can do to make your loved one comfortable is to communicate your loved one’s needs with the staff. The more you tell them about their personality, needs, and specific quirks, the better they will be able to care for your loved one. They are professionals, but everyone is different and has their own needs. Sometimes the elderly have trouble communicating these things, so the more you help them by talking to staff the easier everyone’s lives will be. Communication is everything. Do yourself, your loved one, and the staff a favor and tell them about how to help the senior in your life.
It’s always a to-do to bring your elderly loved one to a senior living facility, but it doesn’t need to be overly difficult. Simply do your best to make them comfortable by doing your best to optimize their environment, keep them entertained and content, and communicate with the staff. You will be happy that you did the extra work when your loved one is having a good time at the facility.