Approximately 34.2 million Americans have been a caregiver for an adult 50 or older in the last twelve months. Caring for an elderly friend or family member is a labor of love, but it can still be time-consuming and challenging if you’re not adequately prepared for the job.
What if you didn’t have to do it all yourself? There are many reasons to move your loved one to an assisted living facility, including caregiver burnout, to provide better care, and to help them overcome isolation.
Assisted living can be especially beneficial for our loved ones who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. More than 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s. For these individuals, a professional caretaker is often the best way to ensure they have a good quality of life and adequate care.
While there are many benefits to living in an assisted living facility, making the move can be a difficult transition for our elderly loved ones. Here are 5 things you can do to make the change more comfortable for them.
5 Ways to Make Adjusting to Assisted Living Easier
#1: Don’t Rush
Many of our senior loved ones haven’t moved for many years, so a move can be a major change. It can take months to adjust to life in an assisted living facility, and for many seniors that move can bring with it feelings of homesickness, concern over losing their independence, and other fears.
Because of this, it’s important to help your elderly loved ones take the time to prepare for the move both physically and emotionally. Talk to your loved one about their concerns, and make space for them to share their feelings.
#2: Choose the Right Community
Take the time to research and tour assisted living communities in your area. It’s important to select a community with services, an environment, and amenities that will offer your loved one the support and comfort they need to enjoy their retirement years.
When touring a new community, look for cleanliness, a friendly staff, and happy residents.
If possible, bring your loved one on the tour with you so that they can have input in selecting their new home.
#3: Create a Familiar Living Space
When making the big move, including familiar furnishings can help the assisted living facility feel more like home. Consider including beloved pictures and favorite decorations, furniture, and other items with sentimental value.
#4: Stay in Touch
Nothing makes a new residence feel like home like a visit from family. Stay in touch with your loved one and the staff at the assisted living facility. This helps assure your senior family member that you will still be a vital part of their support system, and also gives you an opportunity to check in with them and the staff and ensure that they’re happy and adjusting well.
#5: Help Them Maintain Their Life Outside of the Facility
Moving to an assisted living facility can be extra challenging if a senior feels like their life is confined to that one facility. Where possible and safe, encourage them to continue seeing friends and participating in hobbies they love, whether that’s social clubs, church, volunteering, etc.
For many, the move to assisted living can feel daunting. The weeks after moving can be a challenging adjustment. But with your support, your loved ones can adjust to assisted living and develop a new lifestyle that lets them thrive.
Is it time to make the move to assisted living? Schedule a tour.