If you’ve ever moved a loved one into a nursing home – either at their behest or because it became a necessity – then you know firsthand that a storm of emotions will come with it.
Sadness, fear, worry, perhaps even a bit of anger.
For those of you that have never done it or are looking at the prospect for the first time, you’re likely to be facing more of the fear and worry that will bring stress with them.
But all will be well in good time, and the move to a nursing home does not need to be a negative one. Perhaps you may even find a silver lining in the fact that your loved one will be moving closer to you.
What’s important to remember is that managing the stress – and the move – comes with being prepared.
Therefore, make sure you prepare your loved one (and yourself) by adhering to this checklist which covers most of the essentials and personal belongings you’ll want to have organized and accessible for (and right after) the move.
What Should You Prepare for Your Loved One?
Each person is unique and will have his or her own personal necessities. However, this framework should help you keep what’s most important close at hand and easy to access.
● Essential medications, especially any prescription medications that needed to be taken on a strict schedule.
● Dentures and oral hygiene products like toothpaste, floss, and toothbrushes.
● Hearing aids, dehumidifiers, and related accessories, such as batteries.
● Eye care products, glasses, contacts, solutions, and cases.
● Hair care supplies, makeup, and any other cosmetic supplies.
● Shaving essentials, if applicable.
● Cell phones and chargers.
● Other electronic devices, chargers, and adapters (like laptops or tablets).
● A purse or day bag loaded up with these aforementioned essentials which will be easy to access during and right after the move when other essentials may be packed away.
● Several pairs of socks and undergarments.
● At least two heavier layers (temperatures can be unpredictable at any time of year).
● Sleeping garments.
● Slippers and shoes.
● A coat or jacket, and a hat if necessary.
● At least two casual outfits.
●Nursing home clothing labels. (Nursing home clothing labels may be more necessary for some elderly residents than for others, but they can help personal items from getting lost regardless. We recommend Sticky Monkey Labels, [StickyMonkeyLabels.com], as they sell convenient nursing home label packs that contain an assortment of waterproof name labels as well as specialized, laundry-safe clothing labels.)
● Important legal and financial paperwork should not be packed away and should be kept close to hand before the move.
● Photographs and other personal keepsakes that your loved one will want to keep close during the move.
Create a Move Plan
In addition to being prepared beforehand with essential medications, clothing, and labels for clothes, creating a move plan will also help you manage the stress of the move.
● Make appointments with any new doctors in the new area ahead of time.
● Change postal addresses and prepare to have mail forwarded in advance of the move.
● Update the resident’s information with utilities and telephone service providers.
● Update health insurance information.
● Schedule a date for the move.
● Coordinate with loved ones in advance of the move to ensure that any and all help will be ready on the target date.
With a move plan, and prepared with this list of absolute essentials, you should be ready for the big day.
Now what’s left is to make it happen – and to be there for your loved one as he or she makes the transition to a new life in a nursing home.
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