Geriatric Psychiatrist Questions Hospice Care

My mother feels depressed after being put into a nursing home?

My family decided to put my mother into a nursing home as we don't want her to be home alone. Now she tells me she is depressed. How do I help her?

2 Answers

Placement in a long term care facility is often a difficult transition. It also depends on whether dementia is involved. Generally speaking, trying to create structure and socialization in the new setting is helpful. Family visits, pet therapy, group activities, etc are important Bringing in favorite foods, photos, and other items that make the environment more homelike are helpful. If the sadness turns into clinical depression with major changes in sleep, appetite, energy, and suicidal thoughts, medical and psychiatric evaluation should be pursued. Ashok J Bharucha, MD, MA Phone: 844-647-1455 FAX: 877-511-8663 In the event of an emergency, email is not an appropriate form of communication. If you are in a crisis, please call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room. All pertinent practice policies are also available
Most nursing home staffs are adept in assisting residents to adjust to their new home. Make her room as home like as possible Family photos, her favorite quilt, etc. Make sure she can easily access you via phone, tablet, etc Speak to the facilities social worker and ask them to engage your mother in any cognitively and physically appropriate activities. It may take a few months for her to adjust - but most do. Theresa M. Redling DO, FACP Chief, Geriatric Health Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Director, Maida Geriatric Institute Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School