When our loved one’s needs grow beyond what we can manage at home, it might be a sign that they could benefit from the additional help offered in an assisted living community. However, no matter what stage of life someone is in, moving can be a challenging and emotional event.
Because of our unwavering desire to ensure our parents’ comfort and well-being, it’s normal for you to experience feelings of stress and anxiety during this time. Know that you’re not alone during this journey. Our comprehensive guide is here to help make their transition to assisted living as smooth as possible — for you and your loved one.
Factors To Consider Before Moving To Assisted Living
Moving a family member into assisted living can feel challenging and emotionally overwhelming. Here are some key factors you should consider before moving a loved one to an assisted living community:
Your Parent’s Hobbies And Passions
Before transitioning your parent to an assisted living community, you may want to consider their hobbies and passions. Are there specific activities or interests that they enjoy? Whether it’s their favorite board game, gardening kit, or sentimental items from home, bringing your loved one’s favorite items can help ensure they continue to enjoy the activities that bring them joy.
Available Storage Space
Most assisted living communities will typically have enough living space and storage to suit your parent’s needs. However, it’s likely that their new apartment will be smaller than their family home. Consider asking your loved one what items they need to bring with them and using a checklist to help ensure they have everything they require in their new home. If storage space is limited, consider using off-site storage for seasonal items like winter clothes or holiday decorations.
It’s generally advisable to carefully review all the paperwork and contracts associated with the assisted living community. This can help ensure that you understand the community’s terms and conditions — including assisted living costs, services offered, amenities provided, additional charges that may apply and any policies or rules. If anything is unclear in the paperwork, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Other Family Members’ Input
Moving your parent to an assisted living community is a complex decision that may also affect your siblings or other family members. Before moving your loved one to an assisted living community, try to keep communication lines open and involve other key stakeholders throughout the process to help ensure that you have their support.
Even after careful consideration of these factors, your loved one may still have fears about this major change. It’s important to involve them in every decision and reassure them that you’re right by their side during every step of their journey.
Tips For Adjusting To Assisted Living
Below are some key tips on how to ease the transition to assisted living:
1. Personalize Their Space
Making your loved one’s new space feel like home can help increase overall comfort levels and ease their transition to assisted living. You can bring along their favorite possessions from home or decorate the apartment with familiar items like cherished mementos or family photos to create an environment that feels like home.
2. Visit Them Regularly
Transitioning to assisted living takes time, so try to visit your loved one as often as you can. This can be a great way to spend quality time together as they settle into their new surroundings. Things like sharing home-cooked meals with them or bringing along their beloved pet during visits can help make the process less challenging for your parent.
3. Stay In Touch
Great communication can be vital in helping your family member settle into their new community. Engage in open and honest conversations with them about their feelings and needs. Listen to any concerns that your loved one may have and address them with patience and empathy.
4. Encourage Them To Form Social Connections
Friends can help make everything better! Making new social connections can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Encourage your parent to take part in community events, such as book clubs and holiday celebrations. These can open up the chance to make new friends and form a support network.
5. Be Patient And Understanding
Settling into a new community takes time, and it may vary from person to person. Be patient and supportive with your family member and encourage them to maintain a positive mindset. Your love and support can make a world of difference in their overall well-being.
6. Seek Professional Help
Sometimes your loved one may struggle to adjust to life in assisted living. If your family member is finding it challenging to adjust to life in a new community, you may consider seeking guidance from a therapist or counselor to help address their emotional challenges.
Tips For After The Move To Assisted Living
Transitioning to assisted living may seem intimidating at first. After all, your loved one is dealing with one of the biggest changes an older adult may face. Let’s take a look at some key guiding steps to help make their transition to assisted living less challenging:
7. Encourage Them To Establish A Routine
Most assisted living communities provide a variety of activities for residents to enjoy. Once your family member finds what they truly enjoy and love, encourage them to prioritize it and make it part of their routine. This can help to build a sense of purpose and make the transition process less challenging for them.
8. Help Them Set Small, Realistic Goals
Transitioning to assisted living may present your loved one with an array of new opportunities. This can feel overwhelming and confusing at first. Support them by helping them set daily, weekly and even monthly goals. Whether it’s a new hobby, joining a fitness class or simply taking a short stroll down the hallway to say hello to a new friend, each small step they take can help to gradually build a sense of belonging and familiarity, making their new environment feel like home.
9. Respect Their Independence
Maintaining independence and autonomy among seniors can help increase their sense of purpose and self-worth. While visiting your parent frequently or having long conversations over the phone may show that you care about your loved one’s well-being, you may want to avoid being overprotective — as this may make them more dependent on you and make it harder for them to adjust to their new surroundings.
10. Connect With Community Employees
As your loved one is adjusting to assisted living, it’s important to create and maintain a connection with community employees. After all, they’ll be taking care of your family member. Let them know your loved one’s preferences, such as their favorite meal or how they like their cup of coffee. This can help to ensure that your family member gets to enjoy the little things that make their life more comfortable.
At StoryPoint Communities, Your Loved One’s Well-Being Is Our Mission
At StoryPoint Group, we understand that transitioning to assisted living can be an emotional and challenging journey, filled with both hope and uncertainty. We want you to know that your loved one’s unique needs are at the heart of everything we do. Our team of dedicated and experienced employees are committed to meeting each resident’s unique needs — so they can make the most of their golden years. To find out what it’s like to live with us, schedule a tour of your local StoryPoint Group community or call us today at 1-844-275-9990.