What to expect
You have made the decision to place your family member in the nursing home. The following information is provided to prepare for the move and transition to the nursing home.
Things to do before your family member moves to the nursing home
- Discuss the plan with your family and your loved one.
- Gather insurance cards and advance directives (living will, financial POA, medical POA, EMS DNR) to take with you the first day.
- Review with the nursing home and care team about how the nursing home will be paid.
- Set a time for arrival with the nursing home. Discuss with your hospice team on how he/she will get to the nursing home – either by car or by ambulance.
- Be prepared to provide funeral home contact information for nursing home records.
- Rest the night before.
- Do not take any medications to the nursing home, but do take a list of them and how often they are taken. Your nurse can provide a medication list to both you and the nursing home.
Some things that you may need to take with you the first day
- Personal hygiene products, e.g., shampoo, deodorant, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, powder and soap, as these items are not supplied by the nursing home. Eyeglasses, dentures, denture cleaner, hearing aids, prosthetic devices.
- Two weeks worth of everyday clothing. If you plan to utilize the laundry services provided by the nursing home, be cautious about clothing that may need special handling. Consult with the nursing home about labeling clothes.
- Pictures and personal objects that your family member recognizes. Calendars and clocks are also helpful. Be cautious with items of value.
- Mark your loved one’s name on each item that you plan to take with you.
- This could be a hard day for both you and your loved one. It is normal to have mixed emotions. Your care team and nursing home staff are there for support.
- The nursing home will have many papers for you to sign, so be prepared to be at the nursing home for a few hours. Be sure to bring insurance cards and advance directives (living will, POA, Medical POA and EMS DNR) for the nursing home to copy.
- The nursing home will ask you to help prepare a list of individuals who can receive information about your loved one.
- The nursing home will ask you to prepare a list of contact names and phone numbers.
- Your hospice team may have paperwork for you to sign as well. A team member will assist you.
- Allow time for your loved one to adjust to his/her new setting. You may need time to adjust as well.
- Visit the nursing home as often as you want.
- Plan to meet with the nursing home staff at your loved one’s first care plan meeting. This is a very important meeting to discuss goals of care and should take place in the first few weeks. The nursing home will notify you when the meeting is scheduled. Your hospice team is available to attend the meeting. Meetings take place every three months or can be requested by a family member at any time.
- If you have a concern, report the concern to the nursing home staff and care team.
- Remember to take time for yourself. Providing emotional support to your loved one may be as tiring as it was when your loved one was at home.
- You and your family members may feel a range of emotions such as anger, sadness, guilt or relief. THIS IS NORMAL. Bluegrass Care Navigators staff will continue to be involved with the patient and can help with the feelings you are experiencing.
- www.ombuddy.org: Ombudsman program for Central Kentucky area
- (800) 372-2991: Kentucky LTC Ombudsman Program (entire state)
- www.nccnhr.org: National Citizen’s Coalition for Nursing Home Reform