Moving away from home and into a care facility can be a jarring experience for seniors. While moving to an assisted living facility or a nursing home is sometimes the only option, studies* have found that these moves can have a damaging effect on the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of seniors. What Seniors Miss Most about Home in Facility Care
It’s little surprise then that nearly 90% of seniors reported to the AARP* that they wished to age-in-place for as long as possible. That’s true even in situations where seniors require professional in-home care to live at home safely and comfortable. In-home care providers like Visiting Angels now offer specialized senior care programs that give seniors the options they need to age in place.
If you spend time talking with seniors, you’ll find common concerns about things they’ll miss if they need to make the move to institutional care. Below, we’ve compiled 16 things about home that seniors miss most when they relocate to a care facility. What Seniors Miss Most about Home in Facility Care
- Favorite Possessions. Moving to a care facility requires serious downsizing. While seniors’ most cherished items usually make the trip, there simply isn’t room for all of the souvenirs, memories, and personal items that many seniors wish to bring with them.
- Comfortable Furniture. Some care facilities allow residents to bring furniture with them. Some don’t. And even among those that do, space is limited.
- Space and Privacy. Some care facilities offer less than 100 square feet of living space per person. Even those with relatively spacious living areas can feel claustrophobic after decades in larger living quarters.
- Personalized Décor. Your mom or dad has made home feel like home with décor that fits their tastes and personality. Care facilities usually give off a sterile, impersonal feel because they need a design that works for everyone.
- Gardens and Yard Space. It can be difficult to no longer have a patch of outdoor space to call their own. This can be particularly troubling for seniors with green thumbs.
- Climate Control. In nursing homes and assisted living facilities, climate control is often in the hands of staff — not seniors — leaving many residents feeling overly warm or chilly.
- The “Feel” of Home. After living in the same home for many years, nowhere else “feels” like home. This feeling can be especially acute in care facilities, where occupants have few spaces that they can truly call their own.
Neighborhood & Community
- Favorite Shops and Restaurants. Seniors don’t just lose the familiarity of home when they move to facility care. They also lose the neighborhood stores, restaurants, and coffee shops they’ve grown to love over the years.
- Parks and Public Spaces. Moving to a care facility often means losing access to favorite outdoor spaces, making it hard for seniors to enjoy the fresh area.
- Friends and Neighbors. One of the hardest parts about moving is saying goodbye to the friends and neighbors that made their neighborhood feel like a community.
- Local Community. Relocating to a care facility in a different town or state dislocates seniors from the local community. Seniors find themselves miles away from clubs, groups, and religious communities they’ve participated in for years.
- A Familiar Space. When you’ve lived in the same neighborhood for long enough, the trees, streets, and sidewalks feel as much a part of “home” as your living room or bedroom.
- Sleeping Patterns. In a care facility, it can be tough for older adults to maintain the sleep schedule they prefer. Lights-out rules may be in place, nurses and other residents can disrupt sleep, and the unfamiliar space can make it hard to get shut-eye at night.
- Eating Habits. Moving to a care facility can make it difficult for seniors to eat the foods they enjoy, or eat meals at the times when they want to eat them.
- Favorite Activities. It can be hard for seniors to enjoy favorite hobbies and activities within a care facility environment, particularly those that require space or specialized equipment.
Independence & Control
- One of the most unsettling aspects of moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility can be the lack of independence. Even if seniors need help from family or professional caregivers to age in place, the fact that they still live at home allows them to retain a sense of independence and self-sufficiency. Often, it’s this sense of independent is the thing that seniors miss most after moving out of their home and into a care facility.
Looking to help your mom or dad age in place? Visiting Angels offers free, in-home assessments to help seniors and their families decide if in-home senior care is right for them. Schedule your assessment today by calling 800-365-4189 or by getting in touch with your local Visiting Angels office.
What Seniors Miss Most about Home in Facility Care
What Seniors Miss Most about Home in Facility Care What Seniors Miss Most about Home in Facility Care What Seniors Miss Most about Home in Facility Care What Seniors Miss Most about Home in Facility Care What Seniors Miss Most about Home in Facility Care