7 Tips to Help Your Loved One Adjust to Assisted Living
If you find yourself lacking the time and resources to help an elderly or disabled loved one with activities of daily living or struggling to provide them with the proper health care they need, it may be time to consider assisted living. These types of facilities are designed to provide aid and care to those who may need help with certain daily activities, but still, seek some level of independence. Although adjusting to assisted living may be difficult for your loved one, there are a few tips to help ease the transition.
1. Choose the right facility.
Before you settle on just any assisted living home, make sure it’s the right fit for your loved one. Research to find out what amenities they offer, take a tour of the home to assess the environment, and check out the online reviews or testimonials. Consider the location as well. You may want to look for a place that’s close enough to visit and conveniently located near shopping centers, parks, or other activities.
2. Include them in the decision-making.
Having your loved one participate in selecting their new home can help them feel more comfortable with the idea of living in an assisted living home. Bring your loved one along to the tours and allow them to ask the staff and administration any questions they have about the facilities. Allowing them to take part in selecting their home will provide them a sense of ownership they may not otherwise feel.
3. Help them personalize their space.
Nothing makes a person feel at home like a few personal touches to spruce up the place. Whether it’s decor, beddings or framed photos, adding some pieces that bring some of their personality into their room will make them feel at home. Offer a helping hand in moving and organizing their belongings into their new home.
4. Establish methods of transportation.
The ability to get around provides a sense of independence and will allow your loved one to maintain an active lifestyle. Make sure they understand the modes of transportation that are available and how to use them to get around. Some assisted living facilities provide transportation as an added convenience for their residents as well.
5. Stay in touch.
Help your loved one feel connected to you and the rest of your family with frequent calls and visits. One thing that many fear about moving into an assisted living situation is losing contact with their loved ones. This can bring feelings of depression and isolation. Continue to nurture your relationship with them by maintaining a connection.
6. Ensure access to activities.
Adjusting to life in an assisted living home can be easier if your loved one has access to the same activities they enjoyed when they were living at home. Depending on their interests, they may want to locate a new church to volunteer at or a nearby book club. Helping them find similar alternatives in their new neighborhood can encourage an active lifestyle and show that you care.
7. Encourage socializing with fellow residents.
If your loved one feels a sense of community with others in their assisted living home, they may feel less anxious about their situation. Many assisted living facilities provide activities with opportunities to socialize and meet new people. By taking advantage of these types of activities, they can build new relationships and enjoy a network of support amongst people they can relate to.
Although it may be our intention to support an elderly or disabled loved one, placing them in an assisted living facility is one way to get them the proper care and attention they need when you aren’t able to. Although it may be challenging at the beginning, with plenty of emotional support, encouragement, and communication, they will acclimate to their new living arrangements in no time.