How to Put Someone in a Nursing Home: The Complete Guide


Are you trying to figure out how to put someone in a nursing home? If yes, you should check out our guide here on the key things to do.

Did you know that there are over a million nursing home residents in the United States? Everyone ages, and for many, there comes a time when you must choose whether home care or nursing home is best.

But just because this situation is common doesn’t mean it’s easy. And if you’re unsure how to put someone in a nursing home, the road can be even more difficult.

That’s why we’ve created a guide that takes you step-by-step through the process of putting yourself or someone else into a nursing home.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

1. Is a Nursing Home is Right for Your Family?

The first step is to decide whether or not a nursing home is right for your family and your situation. Nursing homes aren’t the only option if you or someone you love requires care.

However, there are many benefits that come with choosing a nursing home.

For example, nursing homes offer round the clock care for their residents, many offering regular check-ins and assistance.

They provide all meals, eliminating the risk of kitchen injuries. There’s also medication distribution, which removes the burden of remembering if and when medicine was taken. Not to mention, residents are given the opportunity to meet and befriend others of the same age.

It’s a good idea to gather as much information you can about the facilities in your area and the services they provide. Then, tour the ones that appear to fit your needs and get a feel for them in person.

Meeting the staff and seeing the rooms, facilities, and activities provided can help you feel more at ease about your decision and avoid any potentially dangerous situations.

It’s unpleasant to think about, but nursing home abuse is all too common. No one wants to deal with a nursing home neglect lawsuit, as it means someone you love was mistreated.

Trust your instincts when touring potential nursing homes. If something feels off, it’s not the one for you.

2. Provide Paperwork

Once you have chosen a nursing home, it’s time to move on to the paperwork. Typically, nursing homes require the following documents:

Medical History and Physical

In order to determine the level of care you or your loved one will require, you will need to provide the results of a physical to the facility. Additionally, a primary care physician must give a medical history and a list of medications, diagnoses, as well as any other pertinent information.

While the primary care physician is completing these assessments, they can provide insight into the best route for you and your family. They will be able to recommend a level of care and facility placement.

Patient Review Instrument

A Patient Review Instrument, or PRI, is used to determine whether or not a skilled nursing facility is an appropriate choice. These are done by a registered nurse and are often covered by insurance.

Financial History

Although it varies by facility, many require a financial history from potential residents. They need to see proof of assets to confirm that you can afford care.

3. Complete Necessary Applications

Along with the above-mentioned paperwork, you will need to complete any applications your chosen facility requires. These applications are useful in assigning the correct level of care, but also help the facility to get an idea of your income.

Certain facilities are unequipped to handle certain illnesses, so it’s important that there is a thorough admissions process in place. Again, your physician should be able to help you choose a facility that meets your needs, but you should always double-check with the staff.

4. Apply for Medicaid

If after the application process you find that you need financial assistance, you can apply for Medicaid. The facility may have someone on staff whose job is to assist you in this process, but if not, there are a few documents you’ll need to include with your application:

  • Resident’s birth certificate
  • Any military paperwork
  • All property documents
  • Bank statements
  • Life insurance policies

Depending on the facility, you may be able to receive care while your Medicaid application is still pending. However, you may have to wait until you’ve been approved.

5. Meet with Facility Staff

Now that you’ve determined your chosen nursing home is a suitable place for you or your loved one, your finances are in order, and you have completed all paperwork, you need to complete an admission agreement.

During your meeting with a staff member or social worker, there are certain things that must be discussed before residency. This includes what the facility provides, what’s expected from the resident, the cost of becoming a resident, and the presence or absence of a personal needs account.

If you’re unaware, a personal needs account is comprised of a monthly amount allotted by Medicaid for the resident’s personal use.

6. Help with Move-In

With all of the paperwork signed, you’re ready to move in. If you’re moving into a nursing home yourself, don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones for help doing so.

And if you’re checking a family member into a nursing home, remember that it’s important that you provide as much love and support as you can throughout this process. Helping them move in, arrange their belongings, and settle into their new home can make a huge difference in their adjustment.

While you can’t pack everything you own, remember to bring a few sentimental items that make the nursing home feel like home.

How to Put Someone in a Nursing Home

The decision to move someone from their own home into a nursing facility is never easy to make. But by following this guide on how to put someone in a nursing home, you can make the transition much smoother for yourself and the new resident.

If you’re moving into a nursing home yourself, think of this as the next adventure in your life! An opportunity to meet new people and have new experiences.

When helping someone else transition to a nursing home, shower them with love and affection. Do everything you can to make it a positive experience rather than one that’s harmful or traumatic.

Looking for more advice on helping elderly loved ones? Be sure to take a look at our blog!

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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