What you Need to Know For Moving Into a Nursing Home – The Complete Checklist

LAST UPDATED: 10/01/2020

Facing the scenario of moving a loved one into a nursing home facility when it is no longer feasible for them to be cared for at home, in hospital or elsewhere can be a daunting and stressful task.  It can feel very similar to a loss for you of your loved one and perhaps they feel for their independence also.  Knowing what to expect before a move can be both logistically and emotionally valuable for the person moving and anyone helping with the move into nursing home care.  We’ve put together a list of important items and tips to help you be prepared for the move into a nursing home.

What To Do Before Moving In To A Nursing Home?

Visit the nursing home

First and foremost before moving into a nursing home, be sure to visit the home if you haven’t already, and more specifically the actual room your loved one will be in (if possible).  Try not to be distracted by gimmicks or décor – a fancy looking place can seem appealing but is it really a caring, home environment?  Think about what’s important, safety, care standards, reputation, services, staff, cleanliness, etc.  These can all add into your decision on a care home.  Once you have a decided on a care home it’s important too to get to grips with the room space available also.

Viewing and taking measurements of the individual rooms gives you a real feel for what is provided and what you might need/want to take from home.  This will ensure you can take any of your loved ones items from home that will fit into the nursing home, making it more familiar for the person.  Be sure to ask if this is feasible as perhaps some homes might not allow personal items.

What will you need to take into a nursing home?

Helping people to pick and choose what to bring can be a difficult part of moving into a home as it may feel like somethings may have to be left behind.  As well as thinking about the practical things in what to pack and what will be needed try also to think about those other important possessions that are cherished by the individual. 

Clothing and Accessories

  • Ensure suitable clothing for all seasons, and think about versatile layers.
  • The number of outfits can vary person to person but initially take at least 1 weeks worth of clothes but checking the laundry facilities and schedule before hand can help guide you. Firstcare nursing homes we proved a 24 hour laundry service.
  • Don’t leave out clothing accessories. If the person loves scarfs or hats make sure they still have the option to wear these daily.
  • Think of day to day essentials like wallets, handbags, purses and everything that goes in them. Even if they are of limited need daily, it’s probably something the person will have carried with them for a long time so can be comforting to have around and can maintain their sense of independence.

Personal care

  • Families typically provide personal hygiene products and staff in a care home will keep you informed of when your loved one might be running low. Most of us tend to have favourite go to products such as shampoos, lotions, perfumes, toothpastes etc. that we use and the familiarity of smells and ability to maintain choice of preferred brands can help with any move into a care home.

Décor and personal items

  • Not all nursing homes will allow such detail as personal décor or other personal items such as pictures or art so it’s best to check. At Firstcare Nursing homes we encourage people to take those personal treasures that made their house feel like home. 
  • Include items that facilitate any of their hobbies, CD players to listen to their favourite music or a collection of books they love to read or are planning to read.

Although not an exclusive list this might help to cover a few of the basic considerations about what you might need to bring.  Labelling items with your loved one’s name is advised to make sure it is not misplaced or lost without trace.  While the move can prove very challenging and settling in can take time typically it is comforting to have the opportunity for a new safe environment to help meet care needs which can help your loved one flourish in later life.  

To find out what types of care we provide in Firstcare Nursing homes click here.


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