Have your parents recently moved into an assisted living community or will be soon and you’re looking for ways to help them make the transition? Most people require an adjustment period. Yet there are steps you can take to not only help them become comfortable – but to thrive in their new home.
You may see your parents express a range of emotions during the weeks and days ahead. Remember, this is a big change for everyone and at times the feelings can range from excitement, apprehension, frustration, becoming fearful and even a little exhaustion.
However, adult children are often surprised at the feelings of relief they see in their parents. Your loved one may have been fearful living alone but didn’t know how to share this. If they were homeowners, they may also have felt overwhelmed at trying to keep up with all the maintenance tasks.
But even if your parents have been looking forward to the move, they will still need support as they make this lifestyle transition.
Consider these tips and personalize them to the needs of your loved one:
Make sure they bring familiar and favorite furniture from home, including their bed or beloved chair. Or maybe they’d prefer to go shopping for just the perfect piece. Either way, be positive and try to generate excitement about the move.
Make their bedroom inviting with luxurious linens and a cozy comforter. Purchase a soft robe, as well as new bath and hand towels for their bathroom. Place framed photos of the family in each room. Make sure they have their cherished books and music, a television set and a few of their favorite movies.
Your loved ones may be worried that they’ll be bored or won’t have anything to do. Point out that they won’t just be passing the time like they might have been doing when they lived at home. Instead, they’ll be having the time of their lives.
Go over the most recent activities calendar and discuss which ones appeal to them. Look ahead at how they might spend the upcoming week. Remind them that the choices are always theirs to make and that no one will come knocking on their door, unless it’s the new friends they will soon be making.
Arrange to share a meal together if it could help them become more comfortable. It’s not always easy to start off in a new place and they may be apprehensive about meeting the other residents. You may be able to pave the way with introductions.
However, remind them that one of the best advantages of community life is how easy it will be to make new friends, whether it’s during lunch, an exercise class or time in the art studio. Talk about ways they can begin building relationships with those who they have so much in common.
This is a new beginning for your loved ones and can be an exciting time. They are now living where the possibilities are almost endless and all the obstacles have been removed. They’ll soon begin seeing that life is much easier at an assisted living community.
Talk about all the benefits of aging well, including both physically and emotionally and discuss all the opportunities they’ll have. Share with them your own goals for healthy living and help them consider how they could get into better physical shape, eat healthier and make new friends.
It can be very helpful to discuss the concerns or worries your loved one and family members may have had when they were living alone at home. Match them up with the advantages of assisted living and how those issues were resolved.
For example, if your parent was growing fearful about something happening while they were alone, remind them that there is always someone here if help is ever needed. Or if they were beginning to skip dinner, they now will have access to nutritious and chef-prepared delicious meals every day.
Parents may fear their children will stop visiting once they move into assisted living. Reassure them that this won’t happen. You can remind them how relieved you are that they’re now safe and no longer alone and that now you can focus on being their daughter or son and plan fun activities together.
On the other hand, it’s important to allow them time to adjust to their new home. If you’re always there, they may not be motivated to meet their new neighbors and begin making friends. Let them know you’re there for support but encourage them to adjust to their new and exciting life waiting ahead.
If your loved one needs help with the activities of daily life, assisted living can be the perfect answer. Most residents find they are actually able to remain independent even longer once they move.
At Ingleside at Rock Creek Assisted Living, one of our primary goals is to help our residents maintain their independence. We assist them with dressing, bathing and grooming, medication management and meals, to only name a few. We also provide scheduled transportation, private residences, fun social opportunities and the ease of meeting and making new friends with many activities and events.
If you’d like more information about assisted living, please download our complimentary guide Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living.
Please visit our website for more information. Call (202) 846-2651 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.