One of the most challenging aspects of life is transitioning a loved one into senior living care. In this moment, their lives become altered, from waking up in the morning to walking around the neighborhood, their daily routine has been permanently changed. Accordingly, convincing them to accept their new life at a senior living facility can be equally as difficult. However, by following any number of the five steps that will be shared in this article, you should find both your loved one and yourself much happier during the process.
The first and perhaps most important step in this process is preparation. Planning everything out ahead of time is the most effective way to ease your way through this difficult time. Pack for your loved one earlier than the night before, map out the road trip, make sure to do everything you can to make move-in day as pain free as possible. Avoid procrastination at all costs. Nothing eases stress quite like good preparation.
Once move-in day has been completed, the next step is to gauge how much assistance your loved one needs during the first few weeks. The amount of time you’ll need to spend with your loved one is entirely based on their preference. Some need a lot of help initially with such great changes occuring; while others enjoy some separation from their family initially. Communicate with your loved one, come to a consensus on how often they’d like you to visit, and follow accordingly.
Expect to be upset; expect your loved one to be upset. There is no easy way around this topic, especially if your loved one is resistant to living at a senior living facility to being with. The important thing to note is that during this time you must be supportive and patient with your loved one. If they seem upset ask why. If they want to go home ask them what they miss about it. There might not be an effective way to help someone accept a new home but there are certainly ways to let them vent and hear them out.
Spruce up your loved one’s room. Bring their most cherished items from home and decorate their room the best that you can. If you can’t bring them home then bring home to them. It’s the least you can do and it means more to them than you may realize. Photos, jewelry, even family videos can bring that sense of family to their new home. This step works best when it’s explored after letting your loved one vent. During that time, you can gain a clearer picture of what they miss or what they want in their new home. Bringing those wanted objects can increase happiness exponentially, and lead to other positives down the line once your loved one feels comfortable.
Lastly, you MUST involve staff in the decision-making process. The staff at your senior living facility are there to help you, so reach out to them! If you have concerns make them heard. Remember, there is a numerous amount of other families in the same situation as yours in the facility; so if you don’t speak up, staff members will not notice you. In order to make your loved one as comfortable as possible, introduce the staff to them, familiarize the two parties and give yourself a sense of relief when you can’t be there.
There’s no denying how stressful moving a loved one into a senior living facility can be. From worrying about them accepting their new home to being unsure of the new community they’ll be thrusted into, it’s a lot to put on anyone’s plate. Luckily for you, there are a number of ways to ease both yourself and your loved one into this process. By following any combination of these five steps, you’re sure to find yourself more relaxed and confident coming out of this troubling time than you were going into it. Are you looking for a retirement community? Landmark Senior Living has seven premier locations that can accommodate any budget or lifestyle. Call us today to find out more!