Moving is stressful, regardless of age or any other dynamics. The stress of moving is compounded when it comes to moving a loved one into an assisted living facility. While some amount of stress is unavoidable in such a situation, there are a few things you can do to ease the tension and facilitate a smoother transition.
Whether this involves your parents, your spouse, or another loved one who needs to move into an assisted living facility, talking openly about the process and the steps involved will help keep everyone on the same page.
Just knowing what to expect can do a lot to help keep stress levels down. Even if your loved one is adamantly opposed and is dreading this situation, talking openly and honestly is the first step to helping them move into an assisted living situation.
Step 2: Involve Them As Much As Possible
Let your loved one become involved with the moving process. Ask to go with them to tour facilities, ask tough financial questions, and see what kind of assisted living communities are available.
Does your loved one want just a room, or will they have an entire suite or complex, similar to a small house or cozy cottage? What about pets? What about furniture? If the facility is already furnished, will your loved one still be able to bring along smaller pieces they may not be able to part with? When they see different facilities, they will get the opportunity to compare the various arrangements and get a better idea of what will work best for them.
Step 3: Check Out the Activities and Food Options
Some seniors may need to be more social than others. Going with your loved one and asking about what types of activities are offered is another way to help ease moving tensions. If your loved one has special dietary needs as well, ask about what types of nutrition and dining options are available. While some facilities have more of a cafeteria-style layout, many others have room service options, and if your loved one prefers to do their own cooking, many more assisted living communities have individual kitchens available.
Ask about all these options and more to help your loved one make a transition and help them get excited about the move.
Step 4: Keep in Touch
Ask about scheduling visits, extra activities with guests, and what kind of communication is available not only for your loved one but for the rest of the family as well. No one wants to feel as though they have been forgotten about or neglected. Ask about the visitation policy and schedule visits with your loved one as often as you – and they – like.
Step 5: Have a First Day/First Night Bag Ready
A small bag fully packed with your loved one’s essential needs should be ready and within reach to not only make the move smooth but to give them peace of mind once the move is complete. Make sure they have necessary medications, comfort items such as favorite books, puzzles, games, or sweaters, and make sure precious small items are readily available to make their new place feel more like home.
Moving to an assisted living facility or community shouldn’t cause more stress for a family who only wants the best for their loved one. Keep communication lines open and speak with a director for more help or to schedule a tour.