Why consider a transition to an assisted living facility?
If lately you’ve been noticing that your aging loved one is having difficulties around the home, seems socially isolated or is having memory issues, it might be time to consider looking into a transition to an assisted living facility. Your loved one’s safety and quality of life should not be at risk if they want to continue to age independently in their home.
Making the move into assisted living
Change is not easy at any age, and the decision to move your aging loved one into an assisted living facility was probably one that was not taken lightly. Your loved one will undoubtedly go through an adjustment period as they get accustomed to a new routine, meet new people, and get settled into their new space.
It’s possible that your loved one will go through a mourning period of sorts; they will mourn the loss of their long-time home, familiar surroundings and their independence. Giving them the extra attention they may need from you during this time of change will help them get adjusted to their new living situation.
Tips for an easy move into an assisted living facility
- Visit the assisted living facility often. Before moving your loved one into the assisted living facility, bring them by a few times to help get them acquainted with the staff and residents. This will allow them get a feel for their new home and get familiar with their surroundings. After they have settled in, be sure to visit often or at the very least, call frequently.
- Help them maintain their independence. While you should make frequent visits or calls after your loved one has moved in to the assisted living facility, becoming too overprotective will be counter-productive and keep them from successfully adapting. Allow them to settle in at their own pace and feel in charge of their own decisions, even if it’s just about where to place their personal items in their new space.
- Get them involved socially. While you want to allow your loved one the opportunity to make their own decisions, you should still encourage participation in the activities the assisted living facility offers. Staying socially connected is vital for seniors to improve their mood and quality of life.
- Bring personal items. It’s important that their new accommodations feel as “homey” as possible. Allow them to replicate their old home as much as possible so they can be surrounded by the things they are used to seeing on a daily basis. Your family member may be feeling a tremendous loss by leaving their home, so be sure to acknowledge those feelings and give sympathy.
Remember that while the transition to an assisted living facility can be challenging, but by giving your loved one the positive reassurance that they are simply entering a new phase of their life can make all the difference.
Lourdes Noreen McKeen is a full service retirement community dedicated to provide the best senior care for the aged.