So you have determined an assisted living facility is the best place for the next phase of a senior loved one’s life. While it’s never an easy decision to make, assisted living is a great alternative for individuals who need increasing help with daily activities and self-care. Even still, it’s not always an easy transition. They’ll likely need your help.
Adjusting to Assisted Living 101
Starting a new life in a new place can be intimidating and even scary for anyone, but especially for seniors. No one likes to feel like they’re losing control of their life, but that’s exactly what it feels like for many. And, in many ways, they are. Having to depend on others more and more for the basic activities of daily living is scary and humbling. To help ease the transition into life at an assisted living facility, keep the following tips in mind:
1) Familiarity is key.
One great way to ease the impact of the transition is by preserving some level of familiarity. Having familiar things around and engaging in familiar activities provide comfort. To the extent that you are able, try to recreate their home living environment in their new assisted living residence. Facilitate continuing familiar hobbies and other activities.
2) Communicate well and often.
Keep communication open once they’re settled in their new place. Call them frequently, as often as you can. Add it to your calendar so it’s regular. Encourage other family members to do the same. Major transitions like this are even harder when you feel alone. Let them hear your voice often.
3) Encourage participation.
Find out what activities they have available to them and encourage them to participate. Encourage them to socialize with other residents and get involved with events and group activities. Your loved one will be much more likely to have a positive transition experience if they make new friends and get involved with the community.
4) Cards and flowers still matter.
Sending cards and flowers brightens up anyone’s day. Put it on your calendar to send a card or some flowers several times a year. Vary it up by sending other meaningful gifts sometimes as well. These deliveries help them feel they’re not forgotten.
5) Give them dignity.
Choose a facility that’s dedicated to maintaining their independence as much as possible for as long as possible. Don’t hold their hand throughout everything, but let them do everything they are able to do. Allowing them to live with dignity and respect will ease the transition in no small way.
You are the Best Gift You Could Give
Above all other things, give them you- your time, your attention, and your presence. Visit them often and be in the moment with them while you’re there. Find activities you can participate in with them. Dine with them. Bring your children to visit. Encourage other family members to visit as often as possible. There is no better gift you could ever give.
Making It As Easy As Possible
While it is a major life transition, adjusting to assisted living doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. You can help ease the difficulty of the transition and make them feel at home in their new place with a little work and meaningful care. Use this guide and a lot of love to get started today.
To learn more about how our guests live with dignity and the best care possible, Contact Us.