Moving is already a very challenging and stressful task for most people, but for seniors transitioning to an assisted living center from their lifelong home, it also comes with a sense of anxiety for their new environment.
They’ll need to get rid of many of their belongings, leave a lot of beloved familiar surroundings, and adjust to a completely different lifestyle with entirely new people. However, with some help, they’ll be able to transition more easily.
Here are five things you can do to help your senior family member move into an assisted living center.
Get Familiar with the Community
After searching and deciding on a senior assisted living center, arrange a time to tour the place or visit it a few times to get more familiar with the setting.
Take time out to explore various areas in the community, talk with the current residents, or enjoy some food in the community dining hall. Make sure to arrange your visits with the community so you don’t come at an awkward time.
Pack Efficiently and Don’t Rush it
Since your relative will likely have to move into a smaller space than they’re used to, you will have to get rid of some items. Downsizing should be handled gently and respectfully as it can bring up certain emotions or memories.
Also, check with the community if they offer packing and moving services. Getting help directly from them will make the transition process much simpler. It’s best to keep a list of all the items to stay organized and take care of the big items first.
Include Them in the Decisions
Remember that your relative is the one who’ll be living in the community, not you, so it’s important that they feel comfortable and will enjoy their time there.
Ask them their opinions as you tour the community and go through the process so that they don’t feel forced and have control. They’ll be more confident and comfortable when they make their own decisions.
Help Them Participate in Events and Activities
Once they move in, your loved one might feel alone or homesick, so get them involved with plenty of activities and social events early on. This should give them an opportunity to get to know the other residents.
Make sure they get a list or calendar of all the community events and activities when moving in. The activities will keep them busy and give them something to look forward to on a daily basis.
Be Sure to Visit Them Often
Lastly, make sure to visit them regularly, especially during their first few weeks. Although they’ll get used to their surroundings eventually, it might feel stressful or awkward when they first arrive.
Sharing a meal is a great way to spend time whenever you come by and it should help them ease up. If you have a busy schedule, you can lessen the visits once they get more comfortable there.