Transitioning a family member to assisted living can be intimidating, and that is why HarborChase is here to help you every step of the way. The first step to any major decision is to be sure to complete your research and decide what type of community is best for your family.
We offer assisted living, memory care, and independent living options for every stage of the aging cycle. Once you decide which community is best for your loved one, you need to start the preparation for this new transition of life. Once you’ve found a community or two you’re considering for your loved one, consider the following tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
1. Visit the Community
It is important that your loved one becomes familiarized with the community before the initial move-in. Schedule a tour of the community and take them with you to make sure they enjoy the surroundings and that they can get around easily. You can also take measurements of the living quarters while you are there to help you decide what your loved one will need to pack and bring with them.
2. Downsize and Organize
Your loved one has most likely accumulated a lot of items throughout their life, and not all of those things will be able to move with them. Downsizing is an essential step for moving into a senior living community. It is also important to include our loved one in the decision-making process and try to keep the items that are important to them but too large to fit into their new homes either in the family or a nearby storage facility. With all the less important furniture and items, you can sell or donate them. With enough organization and downsizing, your loved one will be more prepared to make this huge transition.
3. Help Decorate
Although downsizing is an important step for moving your loved one into an assisted living community, it is important to keep key items of their life as comfort. If you cannot bring their whole bedroom set, bring a few pillows and a sentimental blanket so they are comfortable in their new home. You can also help decorate by putting up family photos on the walls or perhaps that clay key holder their grandson made them. You can also keep some of their dining ware and previous decor.
4. Stay Positive
This can be an extremely intimidating move for your loved one, mentally and physically. The best way to combat any negative connotations is by staying positive. Smile and reassure your loved one this transition is for the best. Once they feel comfortable in their new housing, your family will feel less worried and trust that they are in better care.
5. Visit Often
The last thing you will want to happen is your loved one to feel lonely in this new season of life. Be sure to visit as often as you can, whether it is all day Sunday or on your lunch break; it will make your loved one feel more comfortable and not as disconnected from family. A common misconception that many people have is that they cannot accompany their loved one to activities in the community. Help your loved one sign up for an activity or make some new friends in the dining room. If you cannot physically visit your loved one often, ask a friend or relative to and try to call regularly.
6. Show Sincerity
With regular visits, calls, and new comrades your loved one should start to feel more adjusted to the transition. However, it is always nice to show that you care! Try and send your loved one a bouquet of flowers, a nice card, or even a care package. It will bring them joy and help them feel more at home in their new surroundings, plus they can show it off to their new friends!
7. Make Sure Your Family Member is Content
Following these steps should put your loved one at ease and help them have a smooth transition into an assisted living community. If they are in a nearby city it is important to check on them regularly. Drop in at random times and make sure they are staying active and social in the community. Also, ask your loved one regularly how the other residents and staff are treating them. You can also call the staff and ask them how their loved one is acting and doing as well. If you are worried your loved one is drawing back, try and do something fun and spontaneous, throw a surprise party or host a cooking class in the community.
It is vital to help your loved one have as smooth and stress-free transition into a senior living community. By following these seven tips and keeping them in mind, we believe you can make that possible. If you still have any questions or concerns, please contact us and we can work through it together. We are here to help!