Making the move to assisted living is a major transition for anyone, and it takes time to adjust. For many seniors, moving to assisted living feels like a decision that is thrust on them, rather than something they have chosen for themselves. It is a difficult decision for the whole family. But you can take steps to make the transition easier for a loved one.
Here are seven tips for adjusting to assisted living…
Tip #1: Get professional help and guidance
- It’s not easy to know which assisted living facility is the right one for your loved one. Don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional senior placement service. A senior placement service such as the Portland-based Right Fit Senior Living Solutions, for example, will have studied hundreds of senior care facilities in your state and can help you find one that is the perfect fit for your loved one.
- It’s not easy to move your parent or grandparent to an assisted living facility. This requires a lot of planning from other family members and friends. Your loved one will feel much better if they are being helped by their family members during the move, rather than having to hire professional movers for the task.
- Seniors shouldn’t feel alone at any stage. Feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression are common during the transition. Encourage other family members and friends to visit your parent or grandparent as often as possible before and after the move. Seek out the help of a qualified counselor as well.
- Visit the assisted living facility with your parent or grandparent before the move takes place. In fact, you should visit at least three or four times. Learn everything about the facility, talk to the people there, and help your loved one become familiar with the place and acquainted with the staff before the move. Get an assurance that your loved one will be well taken care of. Building familiarity with the place will make the move so much easier for your loved one.
- Add framed photos of their children and grandchildren to the room, bring wall art and decorations from home that they are familiar with, and make sure the sheets and drapes are of their favorite colors. Fill the room with items that mean something to them and make them feel comfortable.
- Your loved one should be able to continue with their hobbies and social life even after the move. Arrange for transportation to take them to their favorite church every Sunday. Make sure they get to go to their bridge club, attend social gatherings, or take a walk in a beautiful park on a regular basis.
- If your parent or grandparent loves cooking and baking, request the staff at the assisted living facility to give them access to the kitchen, so they can at least make meals for themselves. Find out how you can help your loved one maintain some of their independence in a way that is reasonable and safe.
Tip #2: Ask for support from other friends and family members
Tip #3: Encourage family members to visit often before and after the move
Tip #4: Visit the Facility Before the Move
Tip #5: Personalize Their New Room for Them
Tip #6: Make Sure They Have an Active Life
Tip #7: Make Sure They Have At Least Some Independence