The time has come where you need to speak to an elderly loved one about being placed in a nursing home. What do you do? This article explains how you can speak to an elderly person about change of location.

Explaining to an elderly loved one they require placement in a nursing home is a difficult thing to do. It is a very emotional situation for both the person being placed and their family members. The family members may feel guilty about placing an elderly loved one. It is normal if you feel this way. The family members may also feel sad watching their loved one lose their autonomy. No one is ever prepared for placement in a nursing home.

When you are explaining placement to an elderly person, it should be done with much compassion, love, and empathy. You should explain it in a manner that you are concerned for their safety if they continue living in their own. It is important that you validate the elderly person’s feelings when telling them they will be placed. You can use phrases such as:

-“I understand how difficult this must feel for you”.
-“I understand it will take some time to get used to it”.
-“We are here for you. We love you, and care about your safety”.

It is important that you do not “down play” how the elderly person is feeling about placement. The elderly person must be given the time grieve their loss of autonomy. Remember, they are losing their home, routine, autonomy, and personal belongings. Many emotions may come up when this person requires placement. An elderly person may feel the following emotions:

-loss of control

These emotions are all normal. Generally, over time, the elderly person should come to terms with the placement. With lots of love, and support from family and friends, this life transition can be less difficult.

To make the transition from home to nursing home a bit easier for the elderly person, family members can do the following:

-On the day of the move, if possible, a family member or friend should drive the person to the nursing home. If it is not possible to drive them over yourself, you can be at the nursing home at the time of their arrival to greet them.

-You can bring objects from their home to make their new living environment more intimate and personal. For example, you can bring pictures, and trinkets. If possible, you can also bring small pieces of furniture.

-You can ask the elderly person how they would like their living space set up in the nursing home. You can try to help them make it feel like home as much as possible.

To conclude, placement is a difficult life transition. It is important to accept and validate how the elderly person feels about the placement. With a lot of love, and compassion from family members, this life transition can be made easier.

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Author's Bio: 

In 2000, I received my Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) from McGill University and have gained valuable experience about the care of senior citizens from working as a social worker in the geriatric unit of a public hospital for ten years. Having been exposed to many important issues that are relevant to both the elderly and their families, I have created this website to address the questions both may have regarding the available options.