One of the most difficult decisions that any family has to make is moving their senior loved one into an assisted living facility. While it may seem like an easy transition; for many seniors, any type of change is difficult. While there are several benefits of assisted living, many seniors will be moving from the place they have called home for generations, so the move will involve changes that may make your loved one feel uncomfortable, frustrated and sadness. Here are a few tips to help make the transition as simple and stress-free as possible.
Finding the Best Senior Living Community
First, it is important to understand the differences between the types of housing options for seniors. An independent living community means your senior loved one will live in their own house or apartment, but there is medical personnel is either on the site or nearby. Assisted living facilities vary in size and/or options, however, most consist of a building with single or shared bedrooms, provided meals, communal living space and medical personnel that are on site at all times. Once you have narrowed down the most suitable type of housing, as you are taking tours, take note of:
- The safety of the facility
- The amount of onsite and offsite activities
- The staffs understanding, friendliness and qualifications
After choosing the community in which your senior loved one will be moving to, take them to visit the facility before the move. Attend meals and activities to allow them to become familiar with the other residents, the staff and the community.
Sorting, Organizing and Packing
One of the most difficult and stressful parts of this transition is the packing. Moving your senior loved one will involve significant downsizing, but it is important to involve them with the process as much as possible. Go through all items in the house together and allow your loved one to determine which items are to be left with family, what items can be sold or donated and what items will be thrown out. Keep in mind that you are moving their memories, not just their belongings. Bring personal items and aspects of their old home into their living space. For example, by favorite bed linens, nightstand and photos, it’s possible to make their new bedroom look just like their bedroom from home.
Settling In at the Assisted Living Facility
While it is extremely important to visit as often as possible, it is equally important to allow your loved one to be independent. Don’t become overly protective or feel as though you should be with them at all times; excessive “handholding” may prevent your loved one from successfully adapting to their new environment. Encourage them to participate in activities, both on and off site. A great way to help them feel more independent is by encouraging them to help out at the community. For example, many independent living and assisted living communities have their residents volunteer with organizing activities, answering phones, sponsoring a club or managing the onsite library.
Seniors will best adjust to their new home with your encouragement and support. Throughout the moving process, it is important to keep in mind that seniors are generally emotionally invested in the home they are leaving, so allow them time to mentally and emotionally prepare. Once they have become accustomed to their new home, most seniors are happy they made the move.
Best of all, that’s what we are here for, to help evaluate your needs and explain the confusing and overwhelming amount of information to help you be confident in your choice.
We have a partnership with independent living, assisted living communities and Board and Care homes gives us superior access to high quality choices to help make a tough decision easier. Meridian prides itself on providing a personal touch. We are more than just a referral service. We do not just give you names and phone numbers to call.
Let our Placement Specialist come to you and discuss your immediate or future plans. We are more than happy to pick up and take you to visit properties. Contact us today.