How to Adjust to a Major Life Change: Moving into An Assisted Living Facility

When a parent or a loved one moves into an assisted or any senior living facility, it can be an extremely emotional affair, even if they are willing to do it. There will be many emotions to sort through, for both you and your parents. While there are many benefits to living in an assisted living facility, making the move can be a difficult transition for our elderly loved ones.

For the transition to be successful, the senior’s family and/or caregiver, their doctor, and the assisted living staff should work as a team. When elders move into an assisted living facility, the lack of familiarity with both the environment and the other residents can be intimidating. Below are steps to ensure a smooth and comfortable transition for your loved one:

  • Give it time
    • It typically takes approximately 3-6 months for someone to adjust to assisted living. It could take longer, but no matter what, stay focused on the reasons why you made the decisions (safety, health, security, and sanity). Keeping the big picture in mind will help you through the rough patches.
  • Visit often and be an advocate
    • It’s best to visit your parents as much as possible. However, in the beginning, as your parents begin to adjust to assisted living, you must gauge how often you should visit. Frequent visits may help your seniors feel at home and give them the confidence to take advantage of the benefits that come with their new home.
    • At the same time, it’s important to be an advocate for any resident. They may feel hesitant to speak up for things they want. Never be afraid to ask for special consideration or raise concerns on behalf of your parent.
  • Expect some resistance
    • Just when you think you are over the hump and your loved one is settling in, things will change. They may tell you, they’re lonely or that they even want to go home. It’s important to remember that these moments and situations are normal and that they will pass.
  • Bring their most meaningful possessions
    • Most of the time, moving into an assisted living facility means that some downsizing is in order. Some of the most important things are often smaller in size – including photographs of family, favorite books, and important family souvenirs. A good tip is to try and bring all the most important meaningful things from each room; that way, your parents have something from each part of the house to remind them of home.
  • Set up your loved one’s new living space
    • One of the best ways to make your loved one feel at home is to make their new living space feel familiar. Arrange furniture and decorations in a similar fashion as they were in the previous home. Taking time to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing living space will go a long way in smoothing the transition to your loved one’s new home.

Good senior care starts with being a good listener. When you move someone into an assisted living facility, it’s a difficult transition. Listen and be empathetic to your parent as they adjust to their new surroundings. For many, the move to assisted living can feel daunting. If you need suggestions or assistance in finding the care your parents need, don’t hesitate to contact LifeWorx today.

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