The transition into assisted living can be challenging, especially for retirees who have lived in the same residence for decades. Below are some tips that will make your loved one’s transition a lot easier.
Get Involved with Community Activities
Getting involved with community activities is one of the fastest ways to settle in. Your loved one will get to meet new people and engage in conversations and activities which will stimulate their body and mind. Before you know it, they’ll be having so much fun in their new home that they’ll forget about the old one.
Get to Know the Caregivers
The caregivers who are employed by assisted living communities aren’t just there to help your loved one with medication, grooming or things of that nature. They can also serve as companions, and because they are often much younger than the residents, they can learn a lot from your loved one and vice versa. Taking the time to get to know them will make your loved one’s experience much more pleasant.
Make Them Feel At Home in Their New Domicile
Even though your loved one is moving into a new community, this doesn’t mean that they can’t bring items from their previous home to create comfort and familiarity. Most retirement destinations will allow your loved one to bring some of the old furniture and decorations and they can even arrange the layout in a manner which is similar. Bringing an antique quilt, table, dresser, silverware or even appliances will help alleviate the anxiety that your loved ones will feel when settling into their new home.
Conduct Regular Family Visits
One simple way to help your loved one overcome the stress and anxiety that comes with relocation is to visit them regularly, especially during the first few days and weeks of their stay. Your presence will make them feel at ease and will give them the time to get to know the other community members. If you’re unable to regularly visit them in person due to work or academic commitments, the next best thing is face time via electronic devices or calling services such as Skype where both of you can see and hear one another.
Begin Downsizing As Soon As Possible
The longer your loved one has lived at their current residence, the more difficult and time consuming it will be to relocate into an assisted community. This is why you want to start months in advance. You’ll first need to decide which items they can take with them, then either hold a garage sale or donate everything else. You can also place it in storage or give it to other family members. If your loved one has paid off their mortgage and owns their home free and clear, you’ll need to decide what to do with it.
Take Advantage of Trial Stays
A lot of retirement communities offer trial stays where a prospective member will get the opportunity to reside in the community for a certain period before moving in full time. Taking advantage of such offers is extremely important because it will give your loved one the time to acclimate themselves to the new surroundings and decide whether they like it.