Acclimatizing New Residents to Nursing Facilities Takes Skills | Retirement home


Moving to a new home can be stressful at any age. Being in a new setting, with new neighbors and a different house layout can make anyone anxious. This can be especially true for the elderly, who may have been in their old home for decades.

Renee Bittner, director of community development at Windsor Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care in Beachwood, and Ashley Coto, regional director of business development at Solivita of Stratford in Glenwillow, said that if acclimating to a new community of seniors can be difficult, it can be done, starting with a proper admissions process.

Before Solivita from Stratford admitted a resident, she would get to know him through an interview process, Coto said. This helps them to know their needs clinically, as well as their likes and dislikes.

If they come to their assisted living facility, staff will ask what types of foods the potential resident likes and dislikes and will tailor their preferences to meet their needs, both socially and clinically, a Coto explained.

She added that families are often very involved in this process as they are usually the ones who organize the tours of the facilities and actively choose the facilities according to their preferences. More often than not, Coto said, a family finally chooses to go to a facility because there has been some sort of emergency, crisis or incident. Thus, the decision-making process begins while the patient is still in the hospital.

“We just moved in with a husband and wife,” Coto said. “The girl specifically chose a room that she thought her parents would prefer based on the view and the location of the nurse’s station. Families are very active. And we welcome it. We want them to be comfortable, because if a patient isn’t enthusiastic about the idea, it helps them feel more comfortable with the idea of ​​moving into a new community.

When it comes to acclimating new residents, Bittner said a lot of it is about making sure residents know the building and are introduced to other residents. In this way, they can make friends and integrate into the activities of the community.

Bittner said Windsor Heights works hard with those who come and introduces their management team to new residents and does not overwhelm them as it is a very emotional experience. They also try not to admit a lot of people at the same time because it’s too much stimulation, she stressed.

“(It’s important to) that the staff are really involved to make sure we know some important facts about them before entering,” Bittner said. “What did they do for a living? Where did they live? Where did they travel? That way they feel safe with us because we know a bit more about them before they show up.

Being a memory care community, Bittner said the process can be very difficult as residents may not know where they are, where they are moving or why they are moving.

When you do this, Bittner said, you can cause a lot of fear and anxiety.

“We always try to prepare families for this so that they are aware of it, and we do our best to get our residents acclimatized so that they know that they are safe here and that this will be their home.” , she said. .

When new residents move in, Coto encourages them to participate in the community, including joining others for meals in the dining room. She added that Solivita tries not to be too pushy with this and instead lets residents adjust and adjust at their own pace.

“We offer many types of activities to meet the needs of many personality types,” Coto said.

“So just show them on a calendar that shows the day’s activities, let them know that it’s really their choice, but that we would like to involve them. “


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