How to Make the Transition to Assisted Living Easier
For a significant portion of their lives, most people are in control of their faculties, exercise independence, and do what they want when they feel like it. When this is no longer the case, it can be quite unsettling. As humans age, they may remain young in their minds and are disheartened when their bodies can no longer keep up as well as they did before. When it’s time for a family member to change their lifestyle to assisted living, it can be a difficult decision for them and their loved ones to make. However, there are ways to make the transition easier on everyone.
Let New Residents Be Themselves
Before moving into an assisted living facility, speak with the family members about their relative’s habits to ensure a seamless transition. New residents may stay up longer than the others or they may be used to taking an evening constitutional after dinner. It’s good for staff to be aware of these habits.
Dealing with Doubts
When family members move their relative into an assisted living community and their relative is not happy about it, they may experience doubts. They worry that they made the decision too quickly or they feel guilt. These emotions and thoughts are normal at the beginning, and it’s best to remind them of the reasons they thought their relative needed to make the change in the first place. Allay their worries by telling them to think back to when they started at a new school or job; they had to give themselves time to adjust and this situation is no different.
Acknowledge Fears Without Placating Every Discomfort
Moving to an assisted living community will bring up some fears and concerns that new residents may or may not talk about. When you notice this, it’s important not to ignore them by focusing on only the positive aspects of their new living situation. Instead, help them find solutions to ease their worrying and discuss the issues with their family if appropriate.
If new residents have a mental illness or express complaints, such as wanting to go home, they may not be implying a physical location. They may be craving an emotion that is associated with their home. In this case, it’s important to listen to and discuss their concerns. You may not be able to change anything, but letting them express their feelings is sometimes all they need.
Remember that new residents and their family will experience setbacks. As painful as they may be, reassure them that setbacks are normal and they will eventually pass.
Balance the Old with the New
It’s nice moving to a new location and meeting new friends, but that doesn’t mean new residents will want new decor. New residents may need to downsize, but remind family members to include some familiar pieces of furniture in their relative’s new home. Their relative will—almost certainly—want their familiar personal belongings, such as photos and paintings, books, bedding, and heirlooms. Although their family may not think some of these items are needed, tell them these items are part of their relative’s identity and are also associated to “home”, the physical location as well as the feeling.
Other Ways to Facilitate the Transition
Assisted living communities value effective communication so they implement InTouchLink software to keep residents up-to-date on community news and ensure they’re engaged and enjoying their lives. It’s a great way to help them feel like they’re a part of the community. The LiveCam feature allows everyone, even room-bound residents, to participate in activities and provides an easy way for staff to make general announcements and share pictures, videos and more. Book a demonstration today or contact us for more information!