Tips to Make a Stress-Free Transition to Assisted Living
Most people want to live in their homes for as long as possible. Even when overall health and quality of life may be declining, many are reluctant to admit they need help. If you’re concerned that a parent or an older loved one isn’t coping well on their own, it may be time to discuss how moving to assisted living could help with the activities of daily living.
Framing the Conversation About Assisted Living
Talking to your parents about assisted living can present unique challenges. It will probably be uncomfortable discussing what to do about care, finances, or legal matters if a serious crisis were to occur. Change is difficult and easing any stress that may develop is as important as the topics you’ll discuss. By gathering your thoughts, enlisting help from other family members and involving your loved one in the decision-making process, your loved one will be more likely to see the benefits of moving to assisted living.
Making the Move to Assisted Living Easier
A change in living conditions is ranked among the most stressful events in a lifetime, and it’s not one to be taken lightly. While it affects different people in different ways, it’s normal for your loved one to go through an adjustment period after moving to assisted living. They may miss their longtime home and familiar surroundings, or have difficulty getting into the swing of things in their community.
Six Ways You Can Help
With a little forethought, you can help your loved one’s move to assisted living be that much easier:
1. Give them a hand. Downsizing helps your loved one pare down to the essentials for their next chapter in life. Now use your knowledge of what makes them happy to help personalize their new home. Even a few items: framed photos, favorite knickknacks, treasured artwork, a new houseplant, a bird feeder on the balcony if they have one — all these go a long way toward creating a place that feels like home.
2. Be a buddy. Unless your loved one is naturally extroverted, they may need encouragement to get out there and try things. Try accompanying them to an activity if they feel self-conscious going alone. If they can try at least one new activity a week, they’ll get to know their neighbors and the staff more quickly.
3. Stay in touch. Your loved one will need you throughout the transition. By staying in touch often, you can make sure they’re happy and comfortable as they settle into their new location and lifestyle. Visit in person, call at a regular time, set up a Zoom time with the whole family — show them that you haven’t forgotten about them and you’re concerned about their welfare.
4. Help them mingle. Your loved one is the new kid on the block, and this is the perfect reason to knock on a few doors and introduce them (and yourself), ask if you can join a communal table at a mealtime, or steer them toward social activities where you know they’ll meet others who share their interests.
5. Connect them with help. As part of getting settled, your loved one should be introduced to staff members they feel confident approaching if they have questions or concerns. Make sure your loved one writes down the name and contact information so that if they’re ever unsure about anything, from the daily schedule of activities to adjusting their bed properly, they’ll get help.
6. Cheer them on. Studies show that seniors who receive the right level of care in an assisted living community feel a boost in their independence. Help them stay focused on the positive changes they’ve made and be their cheerleader as they fully embrace their new lifestyle.
The Right Blend of Support and Independence at Cypress Village
Located in Jacksonville, Florida, which was voted one of America’s best places to retire, Cypress Village is a trusted provider of assisted living in an amenity-rich senior living community. Your loved one will thrive with a customized blend of support and independence, staying in control of the care they need and when they need it. From the activities of daily living to support for those with early memory loss, our friendly and professional assisted living staff will help your loved one continue their normal routines with confidence. Contact us for a personal appointment to explore our assisted living options.