When you place your parent in a nursing home, you’ll want them to feel as comfortable as possible. You’ll want to decorate their room in a way that communicates your ongoing care and concern. Knowing and loving your parents as you do, you’ll want their room to reflect their personal preferences. There are many things you can do to accomplish this goal.
1. Before You Choose the Nursing Home
When talking with the admissions staff, find out how much it will cost for your parents’ care. According to Porzio Planning, an average semi-private room in New Jersey costs $11,000 monthly. When you’re discussing the costs of the nursing home, it’s also essential to find out what’s included.
Ask, in advance, what you’re allowed to bring. It would be nice to bring Mom’s TV or favorite chair if furniture is permitted. You should also discuss which level of care your dad will need. Nursing homes charge an additional fee if the resident must be bathed, fed, or helped to go to the bathroom. It’s best to be honest about these matters before your parent is admitted.
2. Find Out What to Expect
Find out the visitor policies of the facility so you’ll know when to visit. Get a facility activity schedule and find out if family members can participate. For example, does the quoted cost include internet, laundry, and all activities? What other services can be available to your dad (like barber services, newspaper delivery, or trips outside the facility?)
Bring some touches of home to your mom’s room. Mom will want to see familiar things and faces, so bring lots of family pictures. Your parent will feel more comfortable in their favorite chair, and you’ll want to bring a few extra chairs for visitors. Some families create a personalized bulletin board, including birthdays, anniversaries, and upcoming events.
3. Include the Right Accessories
Choosing your parents’ favorite sheets and towels will bring comfort and familiarity to their rooms. If you’re allowed to hang artwork, you can buy some colorful paintings. According to Fortune Business Insights, 60% of art sales will be online. Online art sales are predicted to increase in the future and can make great decorations.
Pack some of their comfortable clothes, underwear, shoes, and socks so that they can feel more like themselves. If your dad needs a wheelchair, he won’t be alone. According to Physiopedia, there are almost 2 million new wheelchair users in the U.S. every year. At times, you may feel as though you’re parenting your parents; but, in truth, you’re just returning part of the love they’ve given to you.
4. Honor Their Preferences
In a nursing home, the meal and activity schedules will be set to accommodate most residents. However, if your mom has a preferred bedtime, tell the staff about it. Your mom has a right to sleep late (or to get up early, as they choose.)
Another frequent area of concern for nursing home residents is the food. Let the dining staff know if your parent has a food allergy. It’s also important to tell the kitchen if Dad has food preferences (like no fish, no orange juice, etc.)
5. Make Yourself Part of the Experience
Nothing your parent places in their new room can replace their need to keep in touch with you and the rest of the family. Visit your parents as much as possible. Participate in their activities and encourage them to make friends. Observe the way your parent reacts to their new home and be willing to listen to any concerns.
As your parent adjusts to their new home, there may be concerns to address. By decorating their room to be more homelike and helping your parent participate in the nursing home’s activities, you’ll help them overcome those challenges. With your continued participation, they will begin to feel more at home.