Once you’ve made the decision to move your loved one into an assisted care facility, your job isn’t over. Your loved one will undoubtedly be stressed about having to pick up and move house, and you should do whatever you can to make the move less overwhelming. Here are five ways that you can make moving into assisted living a smooth transition for your loved one:
1. Make it Homey
Part of the stress of moving from home is leaving familiar sights, smells and sounds behind you. Your loved one has strong memories attached to their current home; do your best to make some of those memories a part of their new residence. Hang favorite pictures on the walls, bring along loved knick-knacks and move a well-worn chair into the apartment. The facility will have rules on what can be brought with your loved one; make sure that you check the rules before you begin packing.
2. Get it Organized
One of the best ways to make your loved one comfortable in their new surroundings is to get it organized. Remember that you need to organize in a way that makes sense to the person who will be living in the space, not necessarily in a way that makes sense to you. Ask your loved one to help you put things in their proper place and make sure that they know where things are. If your loved one is suffering from mild dementia, you may want to leave a list on the night stand or place post-it notes on cupboard doors.
3. Be Positive
Even if you are feeling guilty about moving your loved one into an assisted living facility, keeping a positive attitude will help your family member do the same. Remain upbeat and supportive before, during and after the transition into the facility. Offer an ear if your loved one seems upset and remind them that moving into an assisted living facility doesn’t mean that they are giving up their independence.
4. Encourage Socialization
Your loved one may be concerned about leaving neighbors and friends behind when they move. Be sure to encourage them to socialize with other residents of the facility. Talk to the activities director together and find classes, groups and activities that your loved one can join. Try to keep in mind that your family member may not be ready to join groups right away; transitioning to assisted living can be very emotional. Encourage your family member gently and show interest when they tell you about any groups they have joined.
5. Visit Frequently
Many senior citizens worry that they will be forgotten once they move into an assisted living facility. Be sure to visit often and encourage friends and family members to do the same. If you had a standing lunch-date with your loved one on Sundays, for example, be sure to continue the routine. Keeping standing dates and habits will help your loved one transition to their new life with as little upset as possible.
No matter how you feel about moving your loved one into an assisted living facility, it’s up to you to help make the transition easier. By following the tips above, you can ensure that the move into a facility is as smooth as possible for your family member, both physically and emotionally.
About the Author
Lisa Glaubitz writes for Assisted Living Today Colorado properties where you can find more information on assisted living in Colorado.