Advice on Managing the Transition to a Nursing Care Home with Sensitivity and Compassion from forest health's blog

Many people and their loved ones find that moving from their own homes and transitioning to a nursing care home comes with mixed emotions, especially when everyday life becomes challenging and they require support with daily activities.


That might include reassurance that their care needs and personal care requirements will now be well looked after, combined with concerns about how life will change in a care setting or whether they will be able to make friends and continue to enjoy their favourite hobbies.


The right approach will, of course, depend on the individual and how they feel about relocating to a professional care centre, with some residents viewing a private, comfortable care space as a welcome transition, particularly when they have complex care needs and require round-the-clock support.


Nursing homes are staffed with qualified nurses and a registered nurse is available 24/7 to ensure high-quality care and support for residents with complex care needs.


In this Forest Healthcare article, we share some advice and tips from our experienced team members, ensuring the move into a nursing home is smooth, well managed and a positive experience for all.


Planning Ahead of the Move into a Specialist Nursing Care Home

If you’re already approaching your moving-in date, you’ll likely have already conducted all the necessary due diligence and have the assurance that your selected nursing care home has the right facilities, amenities and nursing staff to meet your care needs.


However, this is also a great time to raise any questions or organise an additional in-person visit to address any worries you might have. Additionally, our dedicated customer support team is available to answer any questions and assist with the transition into the nursing care home. For example:


·         Many nursing centres have a range of optional activities and social events, such as hair salons, musical evenings, seasonal celebrations and open days. Be sure you are happy with all the services on offer and know which of those you might be expected to pay extra for.


·         We always encourage new residents to furnish their private accommodation to their taste. You might wish to check the capacity of your room or suite to ensure your furniture or home comforts will fit nicely, or take a few pictures so you can sit down with your loved ones to plan the perfect layout.


·         Visiting schedules vary between nursing homes, particularly for residents with more involved personal care requirements. It’s well worth asking when and for how long your family and friends can visit so you can start putting together a visitor schedule to look forward to.


Any good care home or nursing centre will be happy to spend as much time as you need discussing their routines, services, amenities and care provisions, and having a one-to-one chat or meeting a few members of the care team helps to ensure you’ll be greeted by a friendly face on the day.


Contributing to Your Nursing Centre Care Plan

Care plans are meticulously designed documents prioritising residents’ health and well-being, setting out everything your carers need to know – and they’re fluid, flexible plans that can change alongside any variations in your medication, health, preferences or wishes.


Rather than a form created solely for the use of registered nurses, a care plan is collaborative and covers everything from the foods and flavours you most enjoy to your medical needs.


Working through your residential care plan or taking a copy home to review in your own time is a great way to set your mind at ease.


You can review every detail and request necessary changes, advising the nursing centre or residential care home about any information that will make a difference to your comfort. That could include:


·         Making a list of your favourite authors, TV shows or musicians to ensure you have a good range of books, movies, films or music to maintain a familiar routine.


·         Advising on the food, drinks and snacks you like – and those you don’t! If the nursing care centre knows in advance that, for example, you aren’t fond of a certain flavour, they can remove it from your meal planning.



·         Creating an overview of your preferred routine, or your routine for specific parts of the day such as settling down to sleep. You may wish to have warm cocoa at bedtime, play relaxing music in the evening, or have an hour or so of quiet time to enjoy a book.


Although care plans also include important information about medications, your health, the healthcare professionals engaged with your well-being and details such as whether a resident might need help with PEG feeding or mobility, this is also a space where you can record other requirements and wishes.


The Importance of Managing Nursing Home Transitions with an Experienced Care Team

It is always essential that new care home residents feel safe, supported, and comfortable that the care and assistance they receive will be right for them—and an accomplished nursing care centre plays a part in helping before, during, and after the moving-in day.


Our specialist nursing care is designed to cater to individuals with complex medical conditions and physical disabilities, ensuring a team of experts is always on hand to provide the necessary support and expertise.


Rather than leaving anything to chance or accepting niggling worries that something might not be quite right, we are here to listen, consult on the types of care we provide at each location, and offer insights into how the routine and schedule at the nursing centre works.


We often speak with prospective residents alongside family caregivers, partners, and loved ones to ensure that all parties are fully up to speed with the nursing care we expect to offer each resident, particularly when a person has a progressive condition that may need extra support.


Visiting together, having a walk through the nursing home and grounds, dropping in to see social events and activities, and speaking with current residents and care teams are excellent ways to get a feel for the environment and ensure you know where everything is.


Advocating for Independent Decision-Making around Residential Nursing Care

Our final tip, whether you are considering a nursing care home for yourself or are looking for professional residential care for a loved one, is to have open discussions about what relocation means and when and how this will happen.


Family members may feel that an older person with a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s require them to make sensitive decisions on their behalf, particularly where they hold power of attorney and represent the wishes and needs of the individual.


Depending on the condition and health of the person, offering them autonomy when choosing a nursing care centre, making key decisions about things like furnishing and decorating their new living space, and ensuring they have support to ask questions can make a world of difference.


Before making any decisions, it’s crucial to understand the role of the local authority and local council in assessing needs and providing financial assistance for nursing care. They can help determine eligibility for funding based on savings, income, and assets, and offer guidance on the process, including the importance of not taking certain actions before a decision is made by the council.


You are welcome to contact the nearest Forest Healthcare nursing team at any time for further guidance about nursing care, the complexities of the transition many families experience, and how you can make this as smooth and stress-free as possible.


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By forest health
Added May 20



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