How do you explain to someone that they are going into respite care for 1 week and then permanently into a nursing home?

1 answer | Last updated: Dec 01, 2016
Patricia-1 asked...

How do you explain to someone that they are going into respite care for one week and then permanently into a nursing home?


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

This is a very tough issue.  It is difficult to explain to someone, especially if they were living independently, that they are going to move into a nursing home.  The best advice I can give is to be direct and try to answer any questions as honestly as possible.  If your loved one wants to know the reasons, tell them as simply as you can.  Be aware that they may get angry and upset, but it is not really about you "doing this" to them.  They are angry at losing their home, independence, and familiar environment.  This would be hard for anyone to hear. Try to listen to any concerns they may have and be reassuring. 

I would also have you or your loved one contact the social worker in the facility where they are going to live.  The social worker can reassure them about staff support , room questions, and any financial questions that they may have prior to moving into the facility.  This may ease much of the anxiety prior to the move.