How to Help Your Parent Make the Move to Long-Term Care

Senior woman packing and preparing for a move to a long-term care community.

Is your senior parent moving to a long-term care community soon? Here are some tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible for both you and your parent.

If your parent is moving from home…

Moving from home to a long-term care community (also known as a skilled nursing facility) often involves a lot of downsizing. If your parent has not already sorted through which of their belongings they wish to keep in a smaller space and which they would like to toss, donate or give away, that job may fall on your shoulders.

If that’s the situation you’re in, don’t panic. It can seem like an impossible task (and it will be challenging, there’s no denying that), but there are plenty of resources out there to help you make the process much easier. To get you started, read these tips on downsizing from our senior living experts.

This is also likely to be an emotional time for your parent. Moving from their home of many years to a new community is a big step on its own. When you add changing health needs or a chronic illness to the situation, as is often the case when it’s time for long-term care, it can be that much more difficult.

One important thing to do is keep them as involved as possible in the process so they don’t feel like they’re losing their autonomy. Also, allow them plenty of time to process their emotions by offering to talk when they need to. You know your parent best, so you know what’s the best way to help them process their feelings.

You can also help by gathering as much information about the community as possible. This will help assuage any of their fears that come up in the time preceding their move.

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Related: Addressing the Concerns Seniors Have About Moving

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If your parent is moving from an assisted living community…

Does your parent already live in an assisted living community? There’s a chance that the assisted living community also offers long-term skilled nursing care.

If that’s the case, your parent’s move will be relatively simple. Although they’ll likely have to move from their assisted living apartment to the skilled nursing section of the community so their needs can be appropriately met, they won’t have to deal with the upheaval that comes with moving to a new community, learning the lay of the land and getting to know a whole new care team. Instead, they’ll already be in a familiar place with familiar faces.

The staff at the community can help answer any questions you have about moving your parent’s belongings from room to room. You can also talk with them to go over any questions you have about changes in services, costs and your parent’s care plan.

However, if the assisted living community your parent is living in does not offer skilled nursing services for long-term residents, talk with both the staff at your parent’s current community and the staff at the community they will be moving into.

They will be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with helpful resources to make the transition as smooth as possible. After all, they’ve done this before! Let the experts help you so you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.

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Related: Choosing an Assisted Living Community: Why Continuum of Care Matters

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What to Pack

Many people have questions about what to bring to a long-term care community. You don’t need to worry about bringing furniture, as most communities provide furnishings for residents.

Here is a list of personal items to pack for long-term care:

  • Comfortable clothing/sweat suits
  • Pants
  • Shirts
  • Tennis shoes/walking shoes
  • Socks
  • Undergarments
  • Pajamas and a robe
  • Glasses/hearing aids/dentures
  • Adaptive equipment (walkers, canes)
  • Personal care items

You can read more of our packing tips on our resources page >>

Helping Your Parent Adjust to Long-Term Care

Once your parent is moved in, there are a few things you can do to help them feel comfortable and at home. You could consider:

  • Decorating their room with family pictures and favorite paintings
  • Help them adjust their space once they get in a routine and know where the best places are for their belongings
  • Bringing plants to brighten the room and provide your parent with a hobby
  • Contact family and friends to encourage visits (if your parent feels up for visitors)
  • Give your parent’s new contact information to friends and neighbors so they can keep in touch

At MacIntosh long-term care communities in the Columbus, Ohio area, the staff’s top priority is to get to know your parent to provide the personalized, uncompromised healthcare we’re known for. You don’t need to be with your parent 24/7 to know that someone is there for them, because we have a whole team dedicated to doing just that.

Any questions that you or your parent has can be directed to their nurse and we’ll be happy to help. You won’t be on your own for this move, and neither will your parent. MacIntosh is here for you.

Questions about long-term care? Need to schedule a tour? We’d love to hear from you. Follow the links below to get in touch:

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