If your loved one has lived in their property for many years, the thought of leaving it and moving into an assisted living facility may fill them with dread. Making such a move is regarded as one of the biggest adjustments a senior will experience in their golden years. Whether your loved one is of sound mind or not, it’s normal to have worries and fears about their wellbeing during their transition.
To help put your mind at ease and ensure your loved one is in good spirits from start to finish, here are some top tips for transitioning to assisted living.
Involve Them Throughout
If you have any concerns about your loved one’s quality of life, it can be difficult to strike up a conversation and let your feelings be heard. Many people fear their loved one will become defensive and angry, but you need to have these difficult chats, especially if you believe your loved one’s welfare is in danger. If you believe your loved one is better off in assisted living, it’s time to discuss the benefits with them and raise any concerns you have. You must involve them throughout the process, so they feel listened to and respected.
Pick the Right Community
Understandably, you will want to pick a facility like that is the perfect fit for your loved one. You need to be aware that assisted living is not a temporary solution. This means that if you pick the wrong place, it’s not as straightforward as packing your loved one’s bags and moving to the next one. You must put your full concentration in looking into communities that match with your loved one’s personality, such as Belmont Village San Jose, for example.
Know the Costs
When finding an assisted living facility for a loved one, you need to get a clearer idea of the community’s pricing model. While some may provide all-inclusive prices (meaning there’s a single monthly fee which covers the A-Z), others have different levels of care prices, meaning costs will differ regarding the kind of care your loved one receives. If you have any concerns about costs, make sure you speak up and address them.
Take a Tour
Once you’ve found a suitable assisted living community for your loved one, it’s time to arrange a time to take a tour. You can both see the facility in person and explore the campus, engage with current residents, and even partake in a community social event. While many tours are being conducted virtually at present due to COVID-19, this can still give you a clearer understanding of how the facility is run, and the benefits your loved one will gain from living there. Whether you’re speaking to a staff member behind a screen or in person, make sure you take this chance to ask any questions or worries you may have.
Before your loved one moves into assisted living, there is a whole load of packing that needs to be done first. As your loved one will be downsizing, you need to assist them along the way to help them keep hold of sentimental items and get rid of clutter. There may be difficult conversations at the beginning, especially if your loved one wants to hold onto everything but, realistically, they are going to have to part with some items. Remember, it’s a transition, so you don’t need to get rid of everything right away. It’s best to begin with the basics your loved one will need in their new surroundings, and once they’re settled, you can start the process of removing clutter.
Revamp Their Room
As your loved one moves into assisted living, it’s natural they’ll have all kinds of worries and anxieties being in a completely new environment. Therefore, revamping their new room and adding some home comforts is vital for boosting their mood and wellbeing. There are all sorts of sentimental objects you can place around their room that will spark memories and help your loved one settle in faster. These can include family photos, bedding, small pieces of furniture, or curtains they had in their home. A few touches of home can do wonders for your loved one’s state of mind.
One of the hardest parts of seeing your loved one go into assisted living is waving goodbye after the first visit. If your loved one’s cognitive function is declining, they may believe you have left them there for good, which can be heartbreaking for the both of you. Letting your loved one know that you’re there for them whenever they need is important, so try and visit as often as possible. Understandably, if you have a full-time job and children, finding the time to visit will be more challenging, so using a calendar and setting aside time is key for finding the right balance. When you do visit, make sure you remain optimistic and upbeat. If your loved one is struggling to settle in, try and stay positive and list off the benefits of where they are now.
Encourage Social Interaction
If your loved one is usually the life and soul of the party, they may become withdrawn and reluctant to mingle with others once they arrive at an assisted living facility. This means it’s your job to encourage social interaction with other residents. There are lots of communities that house daily activities and hobbies that residents can participate in. Whether your loved one enjoys reading, painting, gardening, or playing a sport, make sure you inquire with the staff about what events take place that your loved one can join in on. Once your loved one finds common ground with other residents, this should elevate their mood and help them feel more relaxed in their new home.
Remember, the transition from living at home to moving into an assisted living facility is one of the biggest life changes that your senior loved one will make. This means it’s your job to be behind them every step of the way, reduce any anxieties they have, and help them feel at home straight away.