In What’s Inside a Senior Apartment, you read about the typical amenities and general environment of senior living communities. Has your loved one agreed that it's time to make a move to a retirement center? We’re glad you’re here then! In this article, you will read about simple things you can do to make your loved one’s senior living apartment feel like home.
How To Make a Senior Living Apartment Feel Like Home
Once your loved one agrees to make the transition from home into a senior living environment, he or she is going to have a lot of mixed feelings. Don’t invalidate his or her concerns. Listen. Change isn’t easy for most people, and your loved one is likely concerned that he/she will have to sacrifice independence for increased personal care assistance. When your parent tells you that he is worried about change, be understanding. How can your family come together collectively to make the transition less stressful for your loved one? By being empathetic and non-reactive, you can create an open space for conversations that bring optimism about the changes to come.
Ask what they want to bring or buy
If your loved one lives in a large house with a lot of furniture and heirlooms, offer to help sort through the items to determine what can be given away. The process of going through the house, consciously deciding what has the most value, and what can be let go is a form of therapeutic closure. Your loved one will learn to detach from material items that can cause excess clutter in the typically reduced living space of a senior living apartment.
If a “picture is worth a thousand words,” imagine what drugs and alcohol a few strategically placed photos could do for your parent making a move to a senior living communities. Photos allow us to remember the people and experiences that brought us joy, and there is nothing more meaningful than memories of life’s most beautiful moments, captured on camera. After all, isn’t the concept of “home” more about people and experiences than granite table tops, hardwood floors, and cathedral ceilings.
Ease into it
If possible, help your loved one move into their new senior living environment slowly to make the transition manageable and less hectic. You could move belongings in over the course of a few weeks, and have a dedicated trip in which your loved one just meets neighbors and staff. By not making the switch from a long-time home to a new setting in a single day, your loved one will be able to have a more relaxed moving experience. Being able to socialize with new neighbors before actually moving will demonstrate to your loved one that friendly and caring people await.
Ask them to socialize, or not...
Don’t force your parent to socialize right away, but introducing your loved one to other residents, you might encourage your parent to make some connections that could turn into future friendships. It’s normal to need some time alone to get acclimated to new surroundings and routines. However, be a consistent source of strength and encouragement to your loved one. If you notice that they seem to isolate or keep to themselves a bit too much, gently remind them to get out of their room to socialize and engage in community activities.
What things have you done to help your loved one get acclimated to their new surroundings at a senior living facility? Share your experiences with us so we can continue sharing ideas, insights, and tools that enrich the lives of seniors and their families!
Looking for senior living communities to call home? Landmark Senior Living has seven premier locations that can accommodate any budget or lifestyle. Call us today to find out more!