If you or someone you love is making a transition into assisted living, you understand the toll it can take on a person’s mental and physical health. After spending many long years independently and on your own, the idea of moving into an unfamiliar place can be overwhelming.
If you’re looking into an assisted living community for yourself or a loved one, keep reading. We’re going to break down the best things you can do to make the transition smooth and easy.
Make the Decision Together
The most important thing to consider when looking into an assisted living facility for someone you love is including them in the decision on where to go. While it’s definitely a hard choice for a caregiver to make, the ultimate decision needs to be made by the future resident.
Sit down together and write up a list of wants and needs you and your loved one have regarding an assisted living facility. Remind them that they can let go of the stress of homeownership and maintenance. They’ve also got the opportunity to make new friends!
Hire Help Wherever Possible
In order to lessen the burden of moving out of a home, hire help wherever you can. Hire movers to move your loved one’s belongings and focus instead on helping them through the emotional aspect of this move.
A professional cleaner and organizer can be a great resource during this time as well. After spending a lot of time in a home, you may find it surprisingly difficult to know what to get rid of and what to hang on to.
Be Open to Finding New Friends
One of the best parts of an assisted living community is the fact that it’s just that: a community! You’ll be living among other people your age and the staff on-site will make sure that you connect with people who may be like-minded.
You don’t have to worry about sitting alone at mealtime. The staff will make sure that you’re up in the morning and ready to take on the day.
The most important thing to do is to try and make a friend as soon as possible so you can become a part of the community that makes assisted living facilities so great.
Participate in Activities
Assisted living facilities make sure that every resident has something fun to do during the day. Whether it’s weekly bingo or fun exercise routines, your future facility will have an activities director that will keep you busy.
During the first few weeks of your stay in an assisted living community, it’s especially important that you try to engage as much as possible. It will help to get your mind off of the feelings you may be experiencing after such a big change.
Keep Sentimental Items
Another thing you can do to make the transition easier is to keep the items that are especially sentimental to you. Your room will be big enough for you to keep many of your favorite things that will help make you feel at home.
All of your favorite clothes and comfort items should come with you to your new home. Additionally, if you’ve got favorite snacks, make sure to bring those with you as well. Sometimes all we need to comfort ourselves after a big change is something small to remind us of home.
Take Loads of Photos
There’s always room for more photos! Whether you like to carry pictures of your family in a wallet fold-out or you like to hang them up on the walls, make sure you bring plenty of pictures with you to your new home.
If you don’t have many pictures of your loved ones, now’s a great time to take them. Spend some time snapping pictures of everyone in your family and get them printed so you can take them with you.
Watch for Signs of Depression
This is another important part of transitioning into an assisted living facility. The staff will help you monitor your loved one for signs of anxiety and depression.
Depression is common among seniors and this is only made worse by a sudden change in a living environment. Going from independent to living in an assisted living facility can take a big toll on your loved one’s mind.
Luckily, depression is easily treated and your loved one is in the best place to get help if this is something they should experience.
Maintain a Routine
Another important part of making the transition into an assisted living facility successful is trying to maintain as much of your old routine as possible. While many facilities have specific times of day that they start to wake up the members of the community to get them started on the day, most are willing to be flexible and work with you.
If you like to sit up and watch the news with a cup of coffee in the morning, let your coordinator know. In most cases, they’ll be happy to assist you in finding a routine that works.
The Key to Transitioning to Assisted Living: Time
Ultimately, there is one thing that will ease the discomfort of transitioning into a new home, and that’s time. Everyone is different and everyone has different experiences when it comes to making a big change. The best thing you can do for yourself or your loved one is offer a listening ear and give them lots of time to get used to their new situation.
When you work hand in hand with the staff at an assisted living facility, you’ll make your transition so much easier!
For more information on finding the right assisted living facility for you, contact us today!