When a loved one has lived at home for years and is now moving to an assisted living facility, it might be frightening. It’s generally one of the most significant changes a senior will experience in their older years. There’s no way to get rid of all the concerns and apprehensions that go along with this change. However, there are some basic steps you can take to assist you and your loved one through the process.
We’ve compiled a list of suggestions for moving into assisted living after consulting with our members, their families, and their caregivers.
Once you’ve decided it’s time to move into assisted living, there are a few things you should do to get ready. This is our greatest advice on moving into an assisted living home:
Take the time to explore and visit several assisted living homes in your region. This will give you a feel for the social environment, dining options, amenities, and overall atmosphere of each site. It’s better to begin researching early so that you can make an informed choice when you have an urgent need to relocate because you’ll be able to consider things more carefully. We know that this isn’t always the case, but we understand it isn’t either. Regardless, you should be able to ask their leadership, caregivers, and employees any questions you may have when visiting a community.
When deciding between communities, be sure to understand each one’s pricing strategy. Some of them will offer genuine all-inclusive pricing, which means there is a single monthly fee that includes everything. Many senior living facilities will charge a “level of care pricing,” which is a tier-based program with prices that vary based on the type of care your loved one receives.
Before moving in, it’s a good idea to get to know your new neighborhood even better. If you have additional time, use it to explore the campus, talk with current residents, attend a community social event or dine in the dining room. Make plans for visits ahead of time so that your community may plan an itinerary for when you’re there.
First and foremost, check with your community to see if they have relationships with movers. Getting help with this process will go a long way in smoothing the transition to assisted living. When packing, prioritize the most important items first, and don’t stress about doing everything right away. We recommend creating lists to keep the process organized and save time. Start with essential items like toiletries, medications, clothing, bedding and furniture. After the big things are taken care of, move onto smaller items that may still be important but are stuffed away in the garage or attic. If you approach packing in a step-by-step manner, without rushing it, the task becomes far less intimidating.
There are numerous logistical concerns to consider whenever you make a relocation, whether it’s to assisted living or somewhere else. Make a timetable for discontinuing existing services like cable TV, internet, and utilities that will be provided in your loved one’s new facility. To send mail from their former home to their community address, contact the postal service and have their old address updated on credit cards, bank accounts, magazine subscriptions, and other places where it may be shown. Check with your community for assistance as well since they may provide services like this. Keep a record of all moving expenditures—they are tax deductible!
No matter how prepared you or your loved one is for an assisted living move, there are likely to be concerns and worries. There is no such thing as completely being ready for this sort of change, so these emotions are quite natural. Take advantage of social networks for assistance, whether it be friends, family, spiritual guides, online resources, or anywhere else. Discussing your concerns is a wonderful method to overcome them. Be patient—everyone has their own timeline for emotional healing; it’s fine.
Making your new residence feel familiar to your loved one is one of the most effective methods to make them feel at ease. Furniture and accessories should be arranged in a manner that is comparable to how they were in the old house. Keep important mementos in plain view since little touches may have a big influence. Make sure to contact your neighborhood about their packing, moving, and unpacking services—they should be able to assist you with this. Taking the time to create a functional as well as aesthetically attractive living area will go a long way towards making the move less stressful.
It takes time to get used to assisted living. Your loved one will be very busy at their new home from the first day through the first week. Here are some ideas for making the most of your loved one’s initial days in assisted living:
Your loved one will undoubtedly be living in an apartment with many other people in the hallway, on their floor, or even right next door. Every person they meet has the ability to become a new buddy. Encourage your loved one to make friends with as many individuals as possible. Other residents have experienced similar changes and may be a wonderful source of information and assistance.
During the first week, your loved one will meet with several community personnel. Meetings with caregivers to create a care plan and assess their needs are examples of this. They’ll also meet with nurses, dining employees, social directors, fitness professionals, and others on the community leadership team. The objective of the community staff is to make your loved one feel welcome; don’t be shy about asking them anything you want to know at any time.
Be sure to pay your loved one a visit on a regular basis, if possible. This is especially essential during the first weeks of their stay in the community since it will allow them to get used to their new environment without feeling left out. If you can, create a regular visiting time with your spouse. Sharing supper is an excellent method to spend time together whenever you visit. Communities have a variety of dining options available, including dine-in and take-out services; check and see what’s accessible.
One of the most significant advantages of assisted living communities is their social activities. Ensure that your loved one receives a copy of the social calendar from the community and that they talk to residents about their favorite activities. Attending social occasions early on allows you to learn about what’s available and meet other people. They’ll figure out which activities are their favorites over time, and they’ll have new things to anticipate daily.
On an assisted living campus, the dining room is frequently the site of socialization. Encourage your loved one to interact with their new neighbors and converse with other residents during meals. Community staff members may also be happy to share a meal with you, and they have the potential to become wonderful friends.
Assisted living communities may have specialized groups for a variety of interests, hobbies, or principles. A card playing group, gardening club, book club, bible study group, or resident council are just a few examples. Your loved one should talk to the community social director as well as other residents about what’s available and whether there’s anything they’d be interested in joining.
The physical health of your loved one should be considered while maintaining their general wellness. Most communities offer a variety of activities to keep the residents active, so encourage your loved one to join. Active behavior is not only good for their physical well-being, but it may also make them feel more mentally sharp, cheerful, and upbeat.
Your loved one’s outside life will not be put on hold by moving into an assisted living facility. They’ll still have the freedom to do what they want when they want it. Many facilities provide transportation for visits to the doctor, grocery store, and other regular activities. Your loved one can use a home care or ride sharing service for travel that isn’t covered by the community directly.
We understand that no single piece of advice can solve the problem of moving into assisted living on its own. However, if you use the suggestions outlined above as a starting point, you will be well on your way.