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Moving a Parent to a Nursing Home: How to Make It Easier

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As our parents age, there may come a time when we need to consider placing them in a nursing home. This decision is never an easy one, and it can be an emotional and overwhelming experience for everyone involved. However, there are steps you can take to make the process easier for yourself and your parent.

Research nursing homes in advance

Before making any decisions, do some research and find a few nursing homes that meet your parent’s needs. Visit their websites, read online reviews, and, if you are in the US, check their ratings with the government agency that oversees nursing homes in your state. You can also ask for recommendations from your parent’s doctor or other healthcare professionals.

Involve your parent in the decision-making process

It’s important to involve your parent in the decision-making process as much as possible. Talk to them about their preferences and what’s important to them in a nursing home. This will help them feel more in control and less like they’re being forced into a situation they don’t want.

Prepare for the move

Moving can be stressful, so it’s important to prepare in advance. Make a list of what your parent will need to bring with them, such as clothing, toiletries, and personal items. You may also need to arrange for trucks for moving, especially if your parent has furniture or other large items to bring with them.

Consider the financial aspect

Nursing home care can be expensive, so it’s important to consider the financial aspect. If you are in the US, find out what your parent’s insurance will cover and what they’ll be responsible for paying out of pocket. You may also want to look into other financial options, such as Medicaid or veterans benefits.

Placing a parent in a nursing home is never an easy decision, but it can be made easier with the right preparation and support. In the second half of this post, we’ll discuss how to support your parent during the transition and maintain a positive relationship with them after the move.

Visit the Nursing Home

Before making a final decision, visit the nursing home you’re considering. This will give you an opportunity to see the facilities, meet staff members, and observe how they interact with residents. It’s also a good idea to bring a list of questions to ask during the tour.

Check to see if the nursing home offers various activities and opportunities for residents to socialize. Ask about the daily schedule for residents, and make sure it aligns with your parent’s preferences and needs. Observe the cleanliness of the facility, the quality of the food, and the general atmosphere. Also, make sure the nursing home has medical professionals on staff, such as nurses and physicians, who can attend to your parent’s medical needs.

Plan the Move

Once you’ve decided on a nursing home, it’s time to plan the move. This can be a challenging task, but with the right preparation, it can be manageable. One important aspect of the move is finding a moving company that specializes in moving seniors. Look for companies that have experience with senior moves and offer services like packing, unpacking, and even setting up the new living space.

If you’re moving your parent’s belongings yourself, consider renting a truck or hiring a moving company that offers trucks for moving. These trucks are specifically designed for moving large items and can make the process much easier.

Create a Familiar Environment

It’s essential to make your parent’s new living space as familiar and comfortable as possible. Bring items from their old home, such as family photos, favorite blankets, and pillows, and set them up in their new room. This will help create a sense of familiarity and comfort in the new environment.

You can also decorate the room with familiar items, like their favorite artwork or pieces of furniture. This will help create a space that feels like home and ease the transition to the nursing home.

Keep in Touch

Finally, it’s crucial to keep in touch with your parent after they move into the nursing home. This will help them feel connected to their family and friends and ease any feelings of isolation or loneliness.

Consider setting up regular phone calls or video chats, sending care packages, or arranging visits. When you visit, spend time with your parent, participate in activities, and get to know their new community. This will help your parent feel supported and connected to their family, making the transition to the nursing home easier for everyone involved.


Placing a parent in a nursing home can be a challenging and emotional decision, but with the right preparation and support, it can be a positive step for their care and well-being. By starting the conversation early, exploring options, and carefully considering your parent’s needs and preferences, you can make the process easier and less stressful for everyone involved.

Remember to take your time, do your research, and seek out support and resources as needed. With patience, understanding, and care, you can help your parent make the transition to a nursing home and ensure they receive the care they need and deserve.

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