My Mom just got transferred to a new nursing home and is not adjusting well to the change. Any advice?

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The new nursing home is just a brand new facility that was rebuilt to replace the old rundown place. The staff are the same. The big difference is that my Mom was not allowed to bring her furniture.

In the other place she had her loveseat, wall unit, end tables etc. Here its basic nursing home fare.

She has been so upset. I am extremely worried about her. I think in the old place she didn't even realize she was in a nursing home. Now she feels institutionalized and is not adjusting at all. She is crying all the time. Says she feels alone and abandoned. I don't know what to do for her. The staff is aware and are going to check with her primary physician.

Does anyone know of anything I can do for her to make this transition easier for her?

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Thank-you sandwich42. It was tough but I think my Mom is adjusting to her new room. She does take an antidepressant already.And I got the nursing home to agree to let me buy my Mom a nice recliner/rocker for her room. Something to make it a less sterile looking environment.

I have given up trying to get my Mom to participate in things though. I haven't given up on her but as far as trying to entice her out of her room, I might as well save my breath to cool my soup.
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My mom also refused to participate in anything, ever. Not even when there was cake. This is a sign of depression and I would talk to her DOCTOR about it directly, not via staff. The doctor is the one who can authorize med changes anyway.

Lots of things can cause depression. Things that would not have upset your mom before might upset her now. Even things that seem no big deal. Regardless of the cause, the depression should not be ignored. It is not unusual to have an antidepressant and an anti-anxiety med. Heck, my mom is on anti-psychotics and all that. It's the doctor's call, not the staff's decision.

At some point you will have done all you can. All that is possible and more. Your mom might still not be adjusted and it might take a very long time. This is no reflection on you or what you have done. A lot of us take on guilt for these things we don't need to. Sometimes we just have to let it be what it is and just keep going. Sending vibes for all the best!
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Jeanne I totally agree with you. Property over people!! Ridiculous!! If we had been able to set her room up as it was in the old place I bet I wouldn't even be having this discussion.
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No holes in the walls. Sheesh. The physical condition of the walls is of more concern to them than the emotional well-being of the resident? Really?

When we moved my mom in I asked for the maintenance guy to be sent in to her room so I could find out the rules about nails, etc. The cheerful young man said "Do whatever you like. If you need help hanging a picture or clock or something, call me in. I'd rather do it and be sure it is safe."

Maybe being in an older (50 years) building has its pluses.

I think I'd politely but very firmly go a few more rounds over those property-over-people rules!

In any case, I hope your mom adjusts to her new surroundings.

My mom spends very little time in her room -- only to watch television, I think. We are all amazed that she is willing to go to bingo and sing-alongs and crafts and entertainment and just about everything she is invited to. Her first roommate sat in the room and brooded. My sisters and I tried to include her when we went to something with Mom, but she wouldn't budge. I do believe you've tried everything and I have no magic wand. But I think that can make a huge difference in their outlook on life.
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Thank-you jeanne. Very good point. When we met with the staff six months ago and were told that we would not be able to bring my Mom's furniture I stuck my arm up and said "Will you be providing extra counseling when the residents have extra anxiety due to loss of personal belongings. That was met with murmurs of agreement from other families and the eyeroll from the staff.

She does have her own bedspread, pictures of loved ones. They only provided a rail type thing on wall for pictures as they don't want any holes hammered in wall. I have asked permission for us to buy her a recliner/rocker and they approved that.
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I forgot to mention that my mom chooses to stay in her room and does not converse with other residents or participate in any activities therefore all she sees all day are her four walls etc.

Suggesting that she try to leave her room more will not work for my Mom. We've tried that for over a year. No go.
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My mom had to move into a different room while her wing of the nursing home was painted, etc. It was only a week and she never did really adjust. Adjusting to changes can take a long time. How long has it been for your mom?

Why couldn't she take at least some of her furnishings with her? That seems a counterproductive rule. Does she at least have her own bedspread and some other personal things? I think that making the place less institutional would be a good first step. Have you discussed this with the head of the facility?
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We did ask the staff if they could give her something to calm her and they were hesitant to cause she already is getting an antidepressant.
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Anxiety medications would help her a lot. She will settle in, it just takes time.
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