How To Help Loved Ones Settle Into Assisted Living
Every life change can feel challenging, but transitioning from living in a private home to assisted living can be the most difficult. Adapting to a new environment can seem overwhelming after spending decades in a family home. Relatives must stay involved because they can help their loved ones feel more comfortable with the move.
What to Bring
Packing for the move into an assisted living facility involves selecting what the individual loves most. Treasured photos, keepsakes, and a comfy chair can make it feel like home. Taking along your favorite pillows and a blanket can help people feel secure. Know the size and layout of the assisted living apartment to avoid overfilling the space.
If they have a pet that will move with them, prepare them for the move. Bring along their toys, bedding, and other supplies. Make sure all items are clean and safe. Schedule an appointment with the veterinarian to update vaccinations and obtain flea preventatives. Pack ample amounts of food, treats, and any medications for the pet.
Learn about the programs available at the facility. Ensure they have clothing, accessories, or gear that enables them to take part. Socializing through these programs is vital for good health and is encouraged at the facilities.
What to Avoid
Falls are the leading cause of injury for seniors in the United States, so avoid taking throw rugs that could become a tripping hazard. Leave behind any furnishing too large for the space and anything potentially hazardous like space heaters or candles. The facility will usually not allow items like weapons, even as part of a historical collection, and may not allow alcohol.
Keep Them Involved
Moving into assisted living communities involves giving up some independence. Make this easier by giving your loved one some control over the packing process. Seniors are adults who have the right to make choices for themselves. Let them determine where items will go if they are not taking them along.
Consider renting a small storage space for seasonal items or excess belongings they cannot fit into their new home. The ability to freshen their décor and have holiday decorations they love will keep their surroundings appealing and familiar to them.
Stay connected and involved in the life of the senior after the move. They will likely have more activity and companionship at their new home than before, but most still want and need to keep their bonds strong with their family and old friends. Visit often, call or text, send invitations to events, and attend programs at the facility when possible.
For more information, contact assisted living facilities near you.