Do you have a relative that will be moving into senior living?
Of course, senior living offers an incredible variety of benefits to its residents. They have age-appropriate fitness classes, guest speakers, and the resident’s friends and family are always encouraged to come for a visit. And, yet, 89% of children fear that their parents will feel sad or be mistreated in their new home.
There’s no denying that moving into senior living can be an emotional transition for soon-to-be-residents. Not only can it signify a new chapter in a senior’s life, but new residents also tend to feel that they’re losing their independence and being isolated from family members.
This is why it’s so crucial for all family members to be active participants in the move. This is going to help allow the experience to be more positive and minimize the stress and anxiety that tends to come with such a move.
So, how can you help your loved one move into senior living? Read on to find out!
1. Be Open and Honest
First and foremost, it’s important to be honest with your relatives about what’s happening. This is especially the case if the children decided to move their parent or relative to a senior living facility.
In opting for senior living, many seniors find the transition to be incredibly tolling on their emotions. They may feel that they’re leaving behind a past life and moving toward a life that is unknown and frightening. Of course, it may also make many seniors feel that they’re facing the end of their time.
As a result, many young adults will stretch the truth when it comes to transitioning a relative into senior living. They may feel that it’s too difficult for their parent to face the reality of what’s happening.
However, in acknowledging that this could be a difficult transition, it’s best to be upfront and honest from the very beginning. With this, you can openly acknowledge the difficulties and unpleasant emotions. Together you can work through the emotions and assure your relative that you will continue to be just as present in their life.
2. Divide and Conquer
When it comes to downsizing, it’s safe to say that there are a lot of moving pieces to the puzzle. In this situation, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and for the stress to pile up and create tension.
This is why dividing and conquering all of the tasks and duties is the best method.
Remember, transitioning to senior living can be emotionally tolling and stressful. In assigning different tasks to all parties involved, this will help to make the transition all the more positive.
With this, each person will be responsible for a different task. For example, one child might be responsible for legally changing the relative’s address where necessary. Another child may be responsible for dividing the relative’s possessions into a keep, discard, and donate pile.
3. Recreate Routines
For seniors, one of the most difficult aspects of moving somewhere new is their loss of routine. For example, they might be used to attending a weekly church service or visiting with a nearby friend or neighbor. Without these daily routines, it’s only natural to feel lost and even unwell.
To help ease the transition, do your best to find ways for your loved one to continue adhering to a similar routine. This might involve finding a dedicated space for them to attend a religious service or a room for them to partake in crafting or games. Or, if your loved one is an avid volunteer, seek out opportunities for them to volunteer within the new living facility.
Whatever it may be, the goal is to ensure that your relatives can continue their same routines in their new home.
4. Consider Furnished Options
Let’s face it, moving an entire home and all of its possessions is a tall job. This is especially the case for those that have lived in their home for many years.
A furnished rental helps to make everything all the more simple. With this, there’s no need for difficult and emotional moves. Instead, your relatives can turn the key and start enjoying their new living space.
However, it’s also important to consider that many senior living facilities will offer partially furnished rentals. This would generally offer large-scale furniture while also allowing the resident to bring personal items. For example, furnishings such as a bed and couch may already be provided. From here, residents are encouraged to bring their utensils, linens, and small-scale personal items.
5. Schedule Routine Visits
One of the most common fears amongst senior living residents is that they will be isolated from their family and friends. With such a large transition, it’s only natural for soon-to-be residents to experience such fear.
This is why scheduling weekly visits in advance can be so helpful. This will help to calm your relative’s fears and reassure them that you will continue to be present and active in their life.
6. Get Involved!
One of the perks in becoming a resident at a senior living facility is that there are plenty of amenities, services, and clubs available to the residents.
Not only will this be a great way to meet other residents, but it’s also a simple way to keep the mind and the body engaged. For example, some facilities might have a gym or a swimming pool to encourage residents to stay fit. Others will have different clubs available to their residents such as a game or crafting club.
How to Transition to Senior Living
Is your loved one preparing to transition into senior living?
While senior living does offer some obvious perks, it’s understandable why many seniors express hesitation with such a move. After all, one of the most common fears amongst seniors is their eventual loss of independence. One study found that 89% of seniors consider the ability to live independently as they age “very important”.
To help make such a move easier on your loved one, it’s important to get involved. This could mean anything from orchestrating the move itself to providing companionship and reassurance throughout the transition. Not only is this going to make life easier on your loved one, but you can rest assured knowing that you’re doing everything possible to provide support.
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