How to Make Moving to Assisted Living Easier for a Loved One
Regardless of their age, dealing with transition can be difficult for many people. And in the journey of life, making the move to an assisted living community is among the hugest life changes of all. Imagine it: You’ve spent decade upon decade in your own home, self-sufficiently, doing what you want, on your own schedule, and on your terms. Now, it feels like you must leave the places, people and patterns you know well for a completely different existence. Pretty scary, right?
Although the nervousness may never entirely go away, we’re delighted to reveal there are moves you can make to smooth what could be an overwhelming process. Read on for real-world tips for helping a senior adjust to assisted living, which we’ve collected from Stoney Brook’s residents and their families and caregivers.
Here’s what you need to remember…
Emotional Support Is Paramount
The fact that you’re researching ways to ease the transition into assisted living already shows your dedication to remaining involved. Our expert opinion: Having devoted family members or loved ones like you makes all the difference in the world!
Because like anything, individual residents undergo this change, well, individually. Some enthusiastic seniors enter confidently and can’t wait for countless opportunities to meet and interact with new people, explore hobbies, celebrate fun events, and enjoy a stress-free lifestyle. On the other hand, some find it tough and intimidating, and they need more time to acclimate to what will ultimately be a rewarding experience.
No matter what the senior’s mindset is, you can help guarantee success by:
Being thoughtful and patient about your loved one’s needs and concerns.
Understanding that everyone adapts to new surroundings and routines differently – and with different timelines.
Keeping the lines of communication flowing, especially during the first few months of adjustment.
From selecting the ideal senior living community to starting the transition into assisted living, you can be influential in ensuring your loved one flourishes for years to come.
There’s Newfound Comfort in Sticking to Old Routines
Make it a breeze to pick up favorite hobbies again and to continue familiar patterns. Maybe it’s not top of mind, but diverging from predictable routines, especially at an advanced age, can be incredibly disorienting. Just by anticipating these needs and establishing ways for your loved one to maintain traditions in assisted living, you will impart an encouraging feeling of contentment.
For example, does mom relax most when she’s perfecting a new recipe, stretching into a yoga pose, or refreshing her gorgeous hairstyle? Find her a senior living community that offers suitable amenities, and keeps her properly equipped to uphold her usual routines.
Reach Out Regularly, and Equip Your Loved One to Do the Same
Communication with the senior in your life will be the most important factor in a successful move. Prompt them to pack their personal address book, and give them the tools (their telephone, computer, and Internet) to stay connected. Encourage them to call and email their social network. Request that their family members and friends return the favor. You should take the initiative by contacting your loved one consistently, whether that means every day or other expected days and times they can count on. Don’t just tell yourself you will. Insert this activity as a new part of your schedule. Don’t get sidetracked.
Satisfy the Craving to See Familiar Faces and Places
Even when a new resident becomes oriented quickly to a senior living community, a desire to maintain ties to former surroundings can still exist. Aid them in preserving these links by taking them back to their old stomping grounds whenever you can. Opportunities for reminiscing can reinforce your relationship, as well as continue to foster a sense of independence and recognition of significant people and settings. For example, take your loved one to breakfast at a diner of choice. And maybe one morning, you can have them invite along a few friends, to show off favorite local spots.
Thinking of You: Deliver Cheer Right to Their Door
On special occasions, or just because – sending a token of your love and support now and again reminds them, “I’m always here for you.” It’s easier than ever, too, because online shopping websites offer an endless array of items.
Flower arrangements brighten anyone’s day, and live plants and miniature gardens can dress up their space even longer. Food can make them the most popular resident on the “block,” if they’re inclined to share with friends. Look for sweet and savory, healthy, and indulgent snacks, as well as dishes or meals from their favorite local restaurants and iconic eateries from across the country that may hold precious memories. Did mom’s or dad’s author of choice release a new title? Ship off the book! Give pampering, self-care essentials, or amusing puzzles and games. Personalized gifts are also fantastic, especially bragworthy family photo albums.
Nothing Brings a Smile Like a Face-to-Face Visit
Of course, the best delivery of all is your company. Besides the vital social connections that seniors need to stay healthy and happy, sharing quality moments regularly can create real joy for them and yourself. Go solo, if you like. Occasionally, though, you should bring along family members, friends, or former neighbors, to invite more conversation and help keep more personal bonds strong. Take advantage of the numerous activities and events staged in the community, and participate alongside your loved one and his or her new friends. Stop by for breakfast and coffee, for an exercise class or the evening entertainment, or volunteer to lead an art class or other shared interest.
Trust a Central Texas Senior Living Leader
As much as we’ve covered above, it’s just the tip of the iceberg! Stoney Brook’s professional team can continue to capably aid you in moving a loved one into senior living and understanding all of the many factors involved. Renowned as an expert in assisted living and memory care, Stoney Brook designed its resort-style, Central Texas senior living communities to help residents flourish. At home in a fun, relationship-centered setting, they enjoy ample, energizing activities and rewarding opportunities to socialize. That means you or your loved one can age well – and savor each day to its absolute fullest.
Be sure to tour the communities you like and speak with staff members and residents to guarantee you have all the vital information in hand to make the best decision.