Moving parents or elderly loved ones into assisted living can be a trying process for everyone involved. Many seniors fear moving to assisted living means they will lose their independence; that their everyday freedoms will be compromised and they’ll no longer be able to come and go as they please. Or, perhaps they’re afraid once they’re settled into the assisted living community they will be all but forgotten by friends and family. Add those fears into preparing to downsize their current home and the thought of a stressful moving day, and it can become difficult to convince our loved ones that moving to assisted living truly is the best decision they can make for their overall health and wellbeing.
That said, helping aging loved ones understand the changes that are coming will help them feel more comfortable in their new home. By working as a team with your loved one, their physician, and the assisted living staff, you can better prepare for these changes with them and ensure a successful transition.
Tips for Moving Parents to Assisted Living
It’s important for family caregivers to know they shouldn’t feel guilty when the time comes to move a parent to assisted living. Remember, assisted living communities provide a higher level of care than an untrained caregiver can perform. This means not only will your aging loved one enjoy a higher quality of life, but you will have peace of mind that they’re receiving the care they need.
Here are a few tips for moving the elderly to assisted living:
- Focus on the benefits. When talking to loved ones about assisted living, make sure to focus on all the positive aspects of moving. They’ll have a personalized space to call their own, plenty of social opportunities to make new friends, delicious meals, help with daily living activities, and plenty of other services and amenities designed to make life easy.
- Obtain a floor plan. If possible, obtain a floor plan or the dimensions of the living space of your loved one’s new home. This way, you can start to map out where furniture and belongings will go to make moving day a bit less stressful.
- Make sorting through belongings a family affair. Moving to assisted living means loved ones will have to make some decisions about their belongings. Go through items together, deciding what can go with them to their new home, what can be donated or sold, and what can get designated to family members as keepsake items.
- Help with packing. Create a moving checklist so you can stay organized while packing. Keep in mind the size of the room so you know you aren’t packing more than will fit; be aware of the storage space available so you can make smart decisions about what to pack.
- Make the new space homey and familiar. While packing, be sure to bring along some cherished items, like a favorite piece of furniture or cozy blanket, plus some personal items like photos and artwork. This way, you can set up the room so it is familiar, comfortable and feels just like home for your loved one
- Keep in touch. Once your loved one is settled in, make sure to check in often, whether it’s a simple daily phone call or a weekly visit to enjoy a meal together. Staying connected will help your loved one know how much you care about his or her happiness and make the transition that much easier.
For more information about assisted living apartments at American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com/al.