Although there is never an easy time to move your parents into an assisted living community, it is sometimes the best decision for everyone. Once they’ve adjusted to their new residences, many senior citizens find that they enjoy their golden years more than they did previously, when they were still living completely on their own.
This guide is chock full of tips that will help you and your aging parents make the transition to assisted living care as seamless as possible for all of you. Remember, these suggestions are merely meant to put you on the right track; some of them may work for you better than others. No two families are the same, so you will have to figure out what really helps you and your loved ones.
- Time is powerful – Many experts say that, on average, it takes three to six months for new residents to adjust to their new assisted living arrangements. Some people become comfortable more quickly than this and others take much longer to feel at ease. No matter what, the passage of time will help all parties become more familiar and stable in a new environment.
- Visit frequently – For many elderly people, the idea of being forgotten by loved ones is the toughest part of transitioning to assisted living. Schedule frequent visits so your parents know they are still very much a part of your life. Some adult children who live in the same towns as their parents’ new community even choose to make daily visits at first. While this isn’t necessary in all cases, it’s important for many to figure out a regular visiting schedule and stick to it.
- Don’t disregard rough patches – Moving under the best of circumstances can be challenging. If your parents are feeling lonely or isolated, don’t brush them off. Instead, focus on reminding them why the decision to move was made and try to plan fun activities for your entire family to do together. This will brighten everyone’s spirits and help you all move past tough times.
- Bring as many familiar items as you can – Many people who move into assisted living apartments have spent decades furnishing and decorating their previous homes. Even if you have to help your parents downsize, it’s crucial to bring as many familiar, beloved items as you can. Photographs, favorite artwork, dishware, blankets, and some smaller pieces of furniture should all fit, giving the new space a familiar, homey feel.
- Advocate for your parents – Never forget that nobody knows your parents like you do. If you have concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to make them known. Staff member of the assisted living community should welcome your input, feedback, and questions.
The transition to assisted living doesn’t have to be painful. As a matter of fact, it can be the start of a much less worrisome chapter for everyone in your immediate family. Focus on the positives and spend quality time together and, before you know it, everyone will be settled into a new routine.
Contact New Horizons at Marlborough to book a tour of our assisted living and independent living community. We offer billiards and board games, trivia, fitness programs, off-site events, watercise classes and more.