Making the choice to move your older family member into an assisted living facility isn’t always easy. There may be a lot of resistance on their part, and potentially even yours. As such, you may find yourself struggling for everyone to adjust to the new arrangement.
The good news is that there’s plenty to look forward to about assisted living. The more you can help your loved one see its advantages, the more you can help them not only embrace but thrive in assisted living. To help you through the process, here are some of the best tips for helping a senior acclimate to assisted living.
One of the best things you can do leading up to the move is communicating as much as possible. Give them time to understand the changes that will emerge, and let them voice their opinion. Have an open dialogue about their concerns and share yours as well.
Above all, be as reassuring as possible. It may take some time to convince them why it’s best for not only them but for the family, however, with solid communication, compassion, and understanding, you should eventually reach a point of not only acceptance but hopefully excitement.
It helps to visit the facility as many times as possible before the move date. The more they can get comfortable with the space and get to know the other residents and activities, the less they’ll feel jolted when they make the official transition. Give them the opportunity to explore and familiarize themselves with this space so that it starts to become a familiar place for them.
Set Up a Visiting Schedule
To reassure your loved one, make sure that they know you plan on visiting them as much as possible. Set up a visiting schedule so that they know when they can expect to see you. In the beginning stages it’s helpful if you visit several times a week.
Once they become more comfortable they will likely require less visitations. However, in the beginning don’t hesitate to schedule as many visits as they feel are necessary so that they don’t feel abandoned or forgotten.
The more that you anticipate challenges and setbacks the less shocking it will be when they arise. Adjusting to assisted living usually requires a few weeks, and potentially months. However, with enough patience you’ll be able to ride the storm and help your loved one settle in. Remember, it won’t just be difficult for them at first, it will also be difficult for you.
They will likely tell you that they don’t like living there, and perhaps make you feel guilty. Be patient and ride it out. More often than not after the initial period of adjustment they’ll be happier than ever for their new life and community.