Moving your loved one to an Assisted Living community may seem overwhelming. There are so many tasks to finish before the big move. If your loved one resists the change, it can make the process even more difficult. The following suggestions and tips will help you understand the moving process and make the transition easier.
Selecting a community – With several communities in your local area, you may have trouble selecting one. Speak with an OurParents Senior Living Advisor (SLA) about the type of care your loved one requires, the quality of the staff needed, your budget, and which amenities and activities would most benefit your parent. Then, take tours and make notes of each community’s pros and cons.
Packing and moving – Downsizing your loved one’s belongings can be the most daunting and difficult task of the entire process. Delegate packing, moving, and unpacking roles among family and friends to make the move as fast and efficient as possible. Exchange bulky furniture for simpler pieces, and only pack the essentials. Too much clutter not only poses a risk for your loved one, it makes moving and unpacking tedious. However, you want to make the new living space as comfortable as possible. Keepsakes and valuables will give your new home a personal touch that helps make the transition a little easier. It may even help to throw a dinner party or celebration with your loved one’s family, friends, and neighbors to help them part with their home.
Cooperating with the staff – If it is the first time your family will work with an Assisted Living community, staff members’ responsibilities and roles may be unclear. Even though you sign a contract outlining care services, meal plans, and activities, the legal jargon tends to complicate the process. Familiarize yourself with the community; learn what makes up staff members’ jobs and how each applies to your loved one’s care. Do not be afraid to ask questions about what they are doing and why.
Designating primary points of contact – Due to the number and variety of staff members throughout the community, your primary point of contact may not always be apparent. Ask an SLA or your coordinator from the community to give you a primary point of contact upon your loved one’s move. Depending on the size and number of residents, you may have more than one point of contact. Managers and administrators tend to handle the majority of conversations and issues. Along with a primary point of contact for the community, you and your loved one need to designate a point of contact within your family in case of emergency. You should also choose a backup contact in case the primary contact cannot be reached immediately.
Establishing a schedule – In order to make your loved one’s transition as smooth as possible, you must establish consistency. Encourage your loved one to maintain a schedule similar to their routine from home. Weekly activities and resident programs will help keep residents busy. Acquaint them with other community members. Plan a weekly or monthly outing with your loved one as part of their schedule. Outings give them something to look forward to and give you an opportunity to spend quality time with them. Speak with an SLA to learn tips for scheduling day trips in your loved one’s area.
Helping your loved one adapt to their new home – Adapting to a new home takes time. Supporting your loved one throughout the process is the best thing you can do for them. Call and visit as often as you can to reassure them during the transition. Help them personalize their living space until they are comfortable. Work through any problems and concerns together. The transition period is different for each person, so remember to be helpful and patient throughout the time needed.
Many families go through the Assisted Living process at the same time, so you will be able to ask questions and discuss expectations together. An SLA can also help you throughout the transition should you need it. They will answer any questions you may have and share suggestions for tackling specific issues or concerns.