Transitioning to senior living is an important life event that can be both exciting and scary. On the one hand, your loved one will get the chance to socialize and make new friends. On the other, they’re moving from a very familiar setting to a foreign one. Emotions will run high and low, and many questions will arise. If you and your parent have decided it’s time for assisted living, here are six ways to make the transition run as smoothly as possible.
1. Reach Out
It’s never easy to ask for help, whether it’s for assistance with caregiving or moving, but reaching out to other family members and friends who know your parent is the most essential part of making a smooth transition. This is not something you can do alone. Downsizing your parent’s home and moving them to assisted living is going to take a lot of planning and work. Hiring movers may be an option but having loved ones around will help make the transition more personal and comfortable.
2. Foster Independence
One of the most common fears of someone moving to
assisted living is the loss of independence. Make sure to include your parent
in all the decisions you’ll need to make concerning the move and ongoing care.
Research facility options together and listen to their fears and wishes. It may also
be time to decide what to do with your parent’s home: will you keep it in the
family or sell it? According to House Method, if you want to keep it in the
family, be sure to perform the routine maintenance to make sure it’s in good
3. Get to Know the Community
Once you and your parent have decided on a facility,
visit the location as much as possible before you move them in. This will allow
them to get to know the members of their new community a little better and help
them feel more at ease. Make sure to walk around the facility and its grounds
with your parent so they become familiar with the layout.
During your pre-move visits, find out about activities
the facility provides and encourage your parent to become involved. In
addition, inquire about family-inclusive activities, both to decrease any
feelings of abandonment and give your parent something to look forward to.
There may even be volunteer opportunities, such as sponsoring a club, answering
phones, or managing the library.
Their New Room
In addition to the layout of furniture that you may
have created with your parent, help them be a part of the downsizing process by
reminiscing together while going through their keepsakes and choosing the ones
they want in their new room. This will help them cope better with the
transition and give them some closure. Try to make their new room as similar to
home as possible, if that’s something they desire.
Since you’re taking care of so much for your parent,
remember to take care of yourself, too. Eat nutrient-rich foods to keep you
fueled and maintain healthy sleep habits. Don’t let your usual
healthy practices, such as exercise or social clubs, get pushed aside. This may
also be a good time to start a meditation practice to keep you centered in such
a transitional time.
Transitioning to a new phase in life is difficult,
but it can be a rewarding experience. Take a look at the tips above and make
your loved one’s move as easy as possible.