Transitioning from Assisted Living to a Nursing Home: Step-by-Step Guide

assisted living nursing home

Moving from assisted living to a nursing home is often necessitated by changes in an individual’s health or care needs. Here are some considerations to consider when moving from assisted living to a skilled nursing facility.

Steps When Moving From Assisted Living to Nursing Home

You or a loved one may need a higher level of care than what you can receive at your assisted living community. Here are some tips for transitioning between senior living communities.

Step 1: Assess the individual’s care needs.

Nursing homes provide more medical and personal care than assisted living facilities. Healthcare professionals or social workers can help evaluate the person’s needs to determine an appropriate time to move to a nursing home. Medical input is crucial in determining the proper level of care.

Some individuals may be best suited to specialized memory care units. Choose a nursing home based on which one can meet an individual’s complex medical needs.

Step 2: Tour nursing homes. 

Research and visit nursing homes in your area to find one that meets the individual’s medical needs and preferences. Look for facilities that have a good reputation, meet regulatory standards, and have caring staff members. Some assisted living communities offer nursing home care in another nearby building. Choosing a nursing home in the same complex may be best in giving the individual continuity of services. 

nursing home bedroom

Step 3: Consider the costs. 

Skilled nursing care can be expensive. Review the individual’s financial resources and access to financial assistance programs like Medicare, Medicaid, or long-term care insurance. 

After careful consideration, choose the best facility for your loved one.

Step 4: Coordinate with the assisted living community staff.

Work closely with the staff if the individual is in an assisted living facility. Ask for a checklist of tasks family members and caregivers must complete to ensure a smooth transition. Ensure all medical records, medications, and essential documents are transferred to the nursing home. 

Step 5: Meet with the nursing home staff to discuss needs and transition.

Schedule meetings with the nursing home staff, including nurses, social workers, and administrators, to discuss the individual’s care plan, preferences, and specific needs or concerns. For example, your loved one may require physical therapy, occupational therapy, or wound care. Or they may require medical equipment or care for complex medical conditions. 

moving to a nursing home

Step 6: Prepare to move personal items to the new facility. 

Assisted living residents often have space for more personal items than those living in a private or semi-private room in a nursing home. Your loved one may need assistance reducing their number of personal belongings. 

Step 7: Consider the individual’s emotional needs.

Requiring nursing home care may be emotionally challenging for many seniors. Even if they know they need assistance with activities, they may not think they need skilled nursing services 24/7. Offer emotional support and involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible.

Step 8: Visit regularly.

Continue to visit the individual in the nursing home to provide companionship and ensure they receive the care they need. Get to know the certified nursing assistants and licensed nurses on staff. Stay engaged in their care and advocate for them when necessary.

It may take time for your loved one to adjust to their new environment. 

Make Your Move to a New Senior Living Community

Moving from assisted living to a nursing home can be challenging, but it’s often necessary to ensure the person’s health and safety. With careful planning and support, you can make this transition as smooth as possible for your loved one.

Retirement Unlimited offers a wide range of senior living facilities. If your loved one has had repeated hospital stays or suffers from a chronic medical condition, it might be time to move them to one of our skilled nursing facilities that provides 24-hour care. Contact RUI today to learn more about our premier senior communities. 

Key Takeaways: When to Move From Assisted Living to a Nursing Home? 

  • If your loved one has declining health and requires one-on-one supervision and help with the activities of daily living, it might be time to move them from an independent living facility to one that can provide skilled nursing care.
  • Work with the staff at each facility to make sure there is a seamless transition – especially in regards to medication management. 
  • Consider your loved one’s emotional needs as they move to a different home.

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