As our loved ones age, they may require more care and attention than we can give them ourselves and may find it beneficial to move into an assisted living community. That being said, the transition (even if it was their idea) can sometimes be difficult for both the person moving and their family and friends. Luckily, there are ample ways to help seniors adjust to assisted living and feel comfortable in their new homes. You can ensure a smooth transition with patience, understanding, and a positive attitude. Here are some other ways you can help:
Spend time with them.
Having family or close friends visit regularly can help seniors adjust to their new home and remind them that they are not alone through the transition. Your presence will provide a source of familiarity and comfort.
As you spend time together, try to explore the community, whether you stroll around the garden or visit the salon. These shared experiences can help your loved one form new connections and feel more at ease in their new home, even after you’re gone for the day.
Acknowledge their independence.
Moving to assisted living can be a significant life change, and sometimes your loved one may need help overcoming challenges. However, it’s essential to recognize their ability to care for themselves.
You can acknowledge their independence by listening to their needs and wants without undermining their autonomy. Allow them to decide how to spend their time without feeling pressured or overwhelmed, and help them make healthy decisions without taking over their day-to-day life.
Get them involved in activities.
Most assisted living communities like Lighthouse offer activities, such as classes, clubs, and volunteer opportunities. Encourage your loved one to join a few they may find interesting. Participating in regular activities will help them get used to their new home while meeting other residents and forming relationships with their neighbors. You can even tag along to some of the activities initially, which can help your loved one feel more comfortable.
Get to know their neighbors and caregivers.
Encourage your loved one(s) to befriend their new neighbors and the staff surrounding them in their new home. And when you visit them, be sure to introduce yourself to the other residents, caregivers, and staff members as well. By getting to know the individuals around them, you can introduce them to people with common interests, and you’ll also have insider information about how your loved one is adjusting.
Help them start a new routine.
Establishing a routine is essential for seniors adjusting to assisted living, as it helps bring structure and consistency into their lives. Together, you can devise an everyday schedule that includes meal times, housekeeping duties, doctor visits, and activities they enjoy. A daily or weekly routine helps them become more familiar with the new environment while preventing them from getting overwhelmed by the change.
Make the new space homey.
Personal items can make their space feel more like home and comfort them as they settle in. Bring pictures, books, furniture, and other personal items to give them familiarity and reassurance during this change. Consider incorporating things that bring back happy memories or represent their hobbies and interests, and be sure to get them involved in the decorating process! These items can help them feel more connected to the home and community as a whole.
Keep them involved outside of the community.
It’s also necessary to keep them connected with the world outside the assisted living community for as long as possible. Encourage your loved one to continue living outside their new home, whether grocery shopping, having coffee dates with friends, or taking them on family vacations. These activities will help them stay active and engaged, giving them a sense of purpose and reminding them that they are still an integral part of their family and outside community.
Advocate for them.
As an advocate for your loved one, you can help them through the transition to assisted living by providing companionship, emotional support, and understanding their concerns. If there are specific needs that you believe should be met by the assisted living community, speak up and make sure that their voice is heard. This could range from asking for additional assistance to requesting a change in the menu. Regardless of what it is, advocating for your loved one can help ensure that their needs are met during this transition and make them feel more at ease in their new home.
Helping a loved one adjust to assisted living can take time, patience, and understanding. However, with the above tips and tricks, you can make this transition easier for them and help create a supportive environment for them to enjoy. With your support and understanding, they will soon be thriving in their new home!
Our Assisted Living Will Support You
Lighthouse Senior Living can provide the support and care that your loved one needs in a safe, comfortable, and welcoming environment. Our team of experienced caregivers strives to ensure that each resident feels at home in our community and receives the highest quality of care. Contact us today for a tour and to learn how we can help your loved one during the transition to assisted living.