Moving into a new environment where you do not know a single person can be intimidating regardless of age. For seniors transitioning into senior living or assisted living facilities, this holds no less true. This move represents a loss of independence and a great emotional turmoil for the senior who has to undergo it.
The adjustment period that begins after move-in day can last anywhere from two weeks to months depending on the individual. Moving into a new home after spending upwards of 30+ years in the same location can be a traumatic experience and it may take a while for residents to truly settle in and get comfortable in their new home. To address the challenges of these changes, some communities have come up with creative programs to make the transition easier.
Guidance and Friendship Ambassadors
In some communities, residents are assigned an ambassador when they first enter the facilities. Ambassadors are current residents who become friends with new arrivals, offering them the chance to get to know their friends groups, be shown around the property, and have company for dinner and activities. Staff work to match residents and ambassadors according to similar interests to ensure that they feel welcomed and a part of the community.
One-on-One Time With Staff
Another way that some communities can help to facilitate the transition to senior living is by setting up time for meetings between new residents and staff. Staff have the chance to introduce themselves and explain how their community operates as well as what their own roles include. In most facilities, orientations are held to help new residents get oriented with their new home and friends.
Another activity that many facilities put on for new residents is a monthly welcome party for all new residents to get acquainted. It offers the chance for residents to mingle and bond over shared meals and refreshments. In some facilities, residents may even get guest passes so that they can bring along friends and family members to see their new surroundings and ensure that they are well taken care of. Rest assured there will be plenty of entertainment and refreshments.
Some resident communities for seniors will help provide movers and packers to help incoming residents to pack and move. Helping new residents with the physical labor and logistical details of moving can help minimize stress and ensure a smooth transition into senior living. Some seniors can even get gift cards to local restaurants so that they have a place to spend time while their items get moved into their new residence.
No matter what kind of orientation programs your senior living community has, they will do their best to help integrate your senior into their family. All facilities should do their best to personalize the on-boarding process for all prospective residents. You can make sure to inquire about the best ways you can help your senior become integrated into the community, meet neighbors, and get acquainted with new surroundings. If you think it’s about time for your senior to transition into senior living, they likely are showing some of the following signs.
Signs That It’s Time for a Senior to Move to Assisted Living
Most seniors will not be ecstatic about the prospect of moving into a senior living community. However, this is sometimes the best option for their mental and physical health. So when is the right time? It depends on the individual, but here are several signs to look out for that indicate it could be time.
- When you look around the house or yard, is it as neat and clean as it used to be?
- Is the senior remembering to take their medications correctly, with the right dosages and at the right time? Warning signs include hospitalizations, stockpiled or expired medications, and pill boxes that are not current.
- Are they able to operate household appliances safely?
- Is the senior eating healthy, balanced meals regularly?
- Is there fresh, nutritious food in their refrigerator and pantry that is not expired?
- Is the senior capable of getting around safely? Look for unexplained bruises or minor injuries that may indicate they have been falling or having accidents recently.
- Are they wearing fresh, clean clothing each time you visit?
- Can they bathe themselves, groom adequately, and launder their clothes, towels and linens?
- Do they remember to turn kitchen appliances off when they are finished cooking?
- Is the home equipped with safety features and modifications for aging in place, such as grab bars and an emergency response system?
- Do they have a plan in place to summon help in case of an emergency?
- If they are still driving, are they doing so safely? Red flags include an increase in accidents and new dents or scratches on their vehicle. If they are no longer driving, do they have alternate means of transportation?
- Are they paying their bills on time and opening and disposing of mail in a timely manner? Look for stacks of mail, unpaid bills and past-due notices.
- Do they have friends, family or acquaintances whom they interact with regularly?
- Does the senior engage in any hobbies or activities that they enjoy?
- When you really look at this person, are they still active and vibrant like they were years ago, or do you see a more limited person who needs added help around the house and with their personal care needs?
If you are worried about the financial and emotional uncertainties of your senior’s retirement, then consider visiting a senior living community at one of our numerous Landmark Senior Living locations! At our senior living communities, we offer programs and services designed to enlighten and engage all residents. If you or someone you love is considering a senior living facility, take the first step today and reach out to our passionate staff at Landmark Senior Living.