Happy elderly person visiting family in the nursing home.

May 24, 2023

Improving Quality of Life in Nursing Homes – Seven Tips for Your Loved Ones


Things you can do to help your elderly loved one live a happy and fulfilled life in the nursing home.

Having a loved one in a nursing home can be difficult for anyone, but you can do things to make it easier for you and your loved one. With the right steps, you can ensure your loved one is content during their stay whether it’s long-term or short-term. Here are seven helpful tips for keeping improving your loved one’s quality of life while they are in a nursing home: 


Stay Involved – If you are having a hard time moving your loved one into a nursing home, you might be able to imagine just how difficult it is for them. Visiting regularly and staying connected with your loved one is essential for maintaining their happiness while they’re settling into their new home away from you. Scheduling regular visits is important so that you both look forward to seeing each other again soon. 


Encourage Activities – Engaging in fun activities will help keep them active mentally as well as physically, which helps maintain overall well-being. Ask about what activities the facility offers or bring along items like books or puzzles when visiting if possible. Share their interests and hobbies with their care team and they will be sure to include them in activities they might enjoy.  There is a resident of Sunset currently who discovered a love of reading at 91 years old! Tip: It’s a good idea to purchase books, puzzles, activity books, etc. in large print format and large pieces to help with poor eyesight and weak hands. 


Keep Funds In Their Account – Your loved one can use an available fund at Sunset Living to get their hair done at Sunset’s Beauty Shop, purchase snacks and drinks at the Ice Cream and Coffee Shop, and attend parties that may require a fee. Having the ability to do normal daily tasks and have the ability to pay for them themselves can improve self-esteem and provides a sense of independence. Not to mention how good it feels to be well-groomed and pampered! 


Take Them Out On The Town – If your loved one is still able to leave the nursing home it’s a great idea to pick them up and take them to dinner, church, family functions, a shopping trip for new clothes anything you can think of. Everyday events and outings we take for granted might be the highlight of their week. Getting dressed in one of their favorite outfits and being included in your plans can make them feel special and appreciated. All you have to do is contact their nurse to let them know what day and time you will be there to get them and we will have them ready. 


Make Them Feel Special – Showing how much you care by bringing small gifts such as flowers, chocolates, pictures, and more, ensures that even though they may not always get visitors every day, they still feel appreciated. This doesn’t need to be an elaborate gift, even a photo drawn from a grandchild can light up their day. It can also bring an element of surprise into their lives, and they can always look at their special gift and remember that they are loved in a home away from home.  


Keep Communication Open – Communicating frequently with staff members at the facility gives peace of mind knowing someone has an eye on things constantly, and being available to help resolve issues or discuss care keeps everyone on the same page. Knowing someone is looking out for them and ensuring they are not alone when dealing with the details is very comforting to residents. 


Respect Their Privacy – Nursing homes provide necessary services but also respect residents’ rights to privacy just like anyone else’s living situation; remember this when planning visits or talking about life events happening inside its walls. Daily tasks can seem daunting and your loved one may need more assistance and feel embarrassed by this. It’s important to understand they still need their privacy as they deal with these changes.  


Moving into the nursing home is a big change for your loved one, who has enjoyed an entire life of freedom and independence. Oftentimes, moving to a nursing home can be perceived as a final symbol that they no longer have independence. We hope these tips help you understand the challenges they might be facing and how you can make a difference in their experience as a resident with the help of their care team.


It’s important they know they are still loved, can get the little things they need or want, and will still see their family as much as they used to. Encourage them to keep a positive frame of mind and embrace their new lifestyle, with your support along the way. Sunset Senior Living is committed to the happiness of our residents and we know you are to your loved one as well. Together we can make their stay here wonderful. Schedule an appointment with us or call with any questions you have to start the admissions process.