Dealing with major life changes is difficult at any age. For seniors who intend on remaining in their homes for as long as possible, moving to an assisted living community might present certain extra challenges.
However, if you’ve started to notice that your loved one’s health has been declining, that social isolation is an issue or that his or her memory is not what it used to be, these are all clear signs that an assisted living community could improve quality of life. It’s important to note that your loved one’s health and safety should not be at risk if the individual wishes to continue living independently in the home.
5 Tips for a Successful Move to an Assisted Living Community
Even when moving to assisted living is the best option to allow loved ones to continue to thrive, the decision to make the transition was undoubtedly not one that was taken lightly. It’s common for new residents to go through an adjustment period as they get settled into their new lifestyle, getting accustomed to a new routine, meeting their neighbors and the staff and getting used to the change in their living conditions.
Remember that your loved one may be going through a mourning period of sorts. However, missing their long-time home and all the memories attached to it will dissipate in time. Some seniors may even be worried their independence will become compromised, not realizing at first all the ways the daily help they’ll receive will actually improve their quality of life.
Here are five tips to ensure your loved one successfully adapts to life in the assisted living community:
- Stay positive. Although moving to assisted living was a major life change for all parties involved, it’s important to encourage your loved one to fully embrace his or her new lifestyle. Studies show that seniors who receive the right level of assisted living care ultimately feel a boost in their independence.
- Personalize the living space. Ease some of the feelings of loss your loved one is experiencing by ensuring the new accommodations feel as homelike as possible. Bring favorite items from their old home, such as favorite photos, a few knick-knacks, the cozy blanket from the bed, etc. Replicating the space as much as possible can help create a familiar space that makes the transition easier.
- Encourage participation in social activities. Social engagement is vital to a happy, healthy life, and assisted living communities truly go above and beyond by offering activities for all interests. While you want to allow your loved one the opportunity to make their own decisions, you should still encourage participation in the activities the community offers.
- Make frequent visits in the beginning. After the move, provide your loved one with a little extra attention, support and TLC throughout the initial adjustment period. Let loved ones know you’re right there with them every step of the way, and take some time to visit more frequently during the first month or so.
- Try to avoid being overprotective. At the same time, it’s important to allow new residents ample time on their own to settle in. This provides the opportunity for them to feel in charge of their own decisions, even if it’s about something as simple as what activity they’d like to join in or where to place personal items in their new space. Becoming too overprotective may prevent loved ones from adapting successfully on their own.
Discover the Right Level of Assisted Living Care at Saint Simeon’s
At Saint Simeon’s you’ll find a variety of senior housing options designed to meet you or your loved one’s specific needs. Check out this video to discover which area is right for you, from independent living in our charming cottages to skilled nursing care for short-term stays.
The Dotson Family Assisted Living community at Saint Simeon’s offers three levels of care based on you or your loved one’s specific needs. Additionally, we offer a fourth level of care, Assisted Living Plus, the highest level of assisted living care in Tulsa. For more information about applying for admission to our assisted living community, please watch this video or contact us today.