What to expect in a nursing home

Like many people, Linda Brewster wasn't sure what to expect when she moved her mother into a nursing home.

"Mom's never experienced anything like that," Brewster said.  "But she was delighted when she arrived."

Brewster said there were a few things her mother, Emma Fenzel, had to get used to.

"She had a roommate.  That was something different," Brewster said.

Dr. Billie Huff travels to several nursing homes in East Texas.  She said having a roommate is a common concern among new nursing home residents.

"It's a cause of a lot of conflict in some cases," she said. "Many nursing homes will wind up moving patients around until they find the right fit."

Dr. Huff recommends a family choose one person to communicate with the nursing home.

"Which one is going to ultimately make the decision?  All can be included, but the nursing home looks at a responsible party," Dr. Huff said.

Fenzel moved into a nursing home a couple of months ago.  She said there's nothing to fear.

"Everybody's very nice to you.  The surroundings are good," said Fenzel.

Fenzel said there are times she misses living with her daughter, but enjoys her new neighbors.

"Well, I miss being at home too, but I'm with my own age people, which makes a difference," she explained.

"A nursing home, like many other things, can be what you make it," Dr. Huff said.


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