Whenever someone moves into an assisted living facility it involves major changes in an that person's life as well as the lives of their family members. Once you and your aging parents have decided that moving to an assisted living facility is the best choice, it is important to fully understand what's involved with helping your loved one feel comfortable in their new home.
For the transition to be most successful, the senior's family, caregiver, doctor and the assisted living staff should work as a team. A move-in coordinator at a local assisted living facility offered valuable expertise in creating a smooth and successful transition.
Adjusting as a new resident
When someone moves into an assisted living facility, the lack of familiarity with both the environment and the other residents can be very intimidating, as well as no longer living in the home that they may have lived in for so many years. According to our move-in coordinator, adjustment can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days. It is crucial during this time period that your loved one takes all possible measures to adjust to their new home.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Have an open mind
This is absolutely imperative. Open discussions with family, friends and doctors will help and since the move into assisted living requires change and adjustment, seniors are more likely to adapt well if they understand and prepare for this.
- Socialize and participate within the community
It will only makes things worse of your loved one stays in their apartment all day long. When moving into a new place, participating in the community events as well as making acquaintances and friends will make all the difference in the world.
- Asking questions
With all of the changes involved, it's important that new residents and their families talk to the staff. If your loved one is unsure about something, don't hesitate to have them or yourself ask the staff – that's why they are there!
The role of the family
What about the elder's family? What is their role when a loved one moves to Assisted Living? The family needs to adjust to this change, too. It is important to keep these things in mind:
- Don't feel guilty
Very often, family members can feel guilt about placing loved ones into assisted living. Especially if their loved one has been hesitant or outright saying that they're not sure that they want to move. Guilt will do no good because the move was ultimately for the best. If a family member feels guilt, they should remember that the move to assisted living will benefit their elderly parent's health and well-being.
- Visiting or calling
Since the family plays a vital role in their aging parent's successful transition to assisted living, when visiting is not possible, family members should find other ways to keep in contact with both their loved one and the assisted living staff. They should make sure that their parents are socializing and getting involved in the community. When visits are possible, families can even attend activities with their loved ones to ensure that they are meeting new people.
- Don't take all of their time
Although it is important to visit and/or call to monitor the status of the transition, family members that visit too often can inhibit some of the senior's independence. Spending time with family is important, but if all of the senior's time during the transition period is spent with family, they will not be making new friends and getting involved in the community like they should. Give them some space to adjust to their new home on their own.
- Personal items
In order to make the elder's new residence feel like a home, bringing personal items is necessary. Bring items that have personal meaning, including pictures, knick-knacks, medals, etc.
The role of staff in new resident adjustment
The assisted living staff plays a very important role in the new resident's adjustment. In many facilities, staff members will have individual meetings with the new resident to explain their particular role in the facility and what that means to the resident. In some facilities, new resident orientations are held to help the resident get acquainted with their new home. They combine staff and long-time resident expertise and provide valuable information to the new resident.
Staff also makes a new building to feel like home to the new resident. Although information is important in the transition to assisted living, helping the new resident feel at home is really the only way to ensure a successful adjustment.
Even though the transition into assisted living can be tough, the outlook is positive. Our move-in coordinator notes an extremely high success rate at her facility, and many other facilities have similar rates.
Fanily caregiver's play a vital role with both adapting the the new home and paying for the care. Questions about how to pay for Assisted Living Facilities? Contact us today. 855.471.6771