Change is not easy at any age, and making the decision to move your aging family member into an assisted living facility was most likely very difficult for you both. Your loved one will undoubtedly go through an adjustment period in their new living arrangements as they get accustomed to a new routine, meet new people, and get settled into their new space.
Once your loved one realizes that an assisted living facility was the right choice, they can start to face the changes headed their way. They may enter a mourning period over the loss of some of their independence and long-time home, and they may need some extra attention from you as they get adjusted to their new situation.
Tips to Make the Transition to Assisted Living Easier
- Make frequent visits. Even before moving your loved one into the assisted living facility, you can take them there to get acquainted with the staff and residents. Let them get a feel for their new home and get familiar with their surroundings. After they have settled in, be sure to visit often or at the very least, call them frequently.
- Start packing early, and bring personal items. Familiar items will help make their new accommodations “homey.” Let your loved one pick out keepsakes, knick knacks and photographs to decorate their room at the assisted living facility. Allow them to replicate their old home as much as possible so they can be surrounded by the things they are used to seeing on a daily basis. Your family member may be feeling a tremendous loss by leaving their home, so be sure to acknowledge those feelings and give sympathy.
- Allow your loved one their independence. Becoming too overprotective will be counter-productive and keep them from successfully adapting to the assisted living facility. Let them settle in at their own pace and feel in charge of their own decisions, even if it’s just about where to place their personal items in their new space.
- Get them involved socially. While you want to allow your loved one the opportunity to make their own decisions, you can still encourage them to participate in the activities the assisted living facility offers. You can even attend some of the activities with them to ensure that they are being social and making friends. Assure them that staying busy will allow them to get comfortable faster.
The transition to an assisted living facility can be challenging- after all, your loved one is probably downsizing their living space significantly, being forced to learn a new routine, and might feel like their independence has been compromised. But giving them the positive reassurance that they are simply entering a new phase of their life can make all the difference.
For more information about Assisted Living at American Senior Communities, visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com/al.