Moving a senior parent to an assisted living facility is heartfelt and filled with emotions. Most seniors worry about leaving their old life behind and starting a new one. Until they become adjusted, it is quite natural for them to worry about sleeping in a strange place, making new friends, and whether or not they will spend their days feeling lonely. As a family caregiver these issues maybe some of your concerns for your parent as well. Here are 12 strategies to ease the transition to assisted living for you and your parent.
Listen to your parent or loved one when they stress their concerns about moving. Discuss why the move is so important (health, security, safety). You have to stay focus on wanting the best for your parent.
Take your parent to visit the assisted living facility California location chosen. Give them a chance to see the rooms and talk to staff, and other residents. Sometimes other residents can understand the apprehension of a new resident and might be able to reassure them that things will be just fine.
Your parent will need time to grieve. Respect their feelings and show them you will always be there for them. Let them know, you will visit and call after they are settled. During this transition, your loved one may feel as if they are losing everything and have no control. They may show resentment toward you. It is during this time, you will have to give more love and understanding. There is no way around it, your parent will feel as if they are being abandoned. Give them time to accept the changes.
The transition may be more difficult than imagined. You most likely will worry about your parent leaving home, and how will it affect your relationship. It will be difficult putting them in a place where you know they will not be immediately happy. Your parent might even cry in front of you for the very first time. The process can be difficult, so expect to feel a lot of different emotions. Make sure you have someone who you can confide in about your own emotions.
Be Prepared for Setbacks
Expect your parent to call you shortly after the move. They will tell you, they are lonely and scared. Your parent may even say they are not being fed and the staff is mean. Then you will be asked if they can come home. These are the times, you will question whether you made the right decision. Your heart will break, but it is important to realize, this is a natural emotion, and both, you and your parent will get through it.
Once your parent is settled into the assisted living facility California location, ask friends and family if to go by and see how they are doing. They can help you stay away to give you and your parents time to adjust from being away from one another. These visits will keep your parent feeling loved and from out of touch with loved ones back home.
Help decorate your parent's new room. Fill the room with some of their most valued possessions. Put up family pictures so they can look at them every day. Decorate their room similar to the one they had before moving. Make sure they have a phone, so they can call and speak to you regularly. Now with new technology, they can do video calls at any time. Do let them know that whenever you are unable to be reached, you will return their call or seek another way to communicate.
Your parent should feel at home, so avoid going out and purchasing a lot of brand new items for their new room. It is important to keep their environment filled with items from their old home. Items such as bed linen, favorite pillows, television, photo frames, these are items that can come from home.
Listen to your parent, and really let them know that their concerns are being addressed by you. No place is perfect. Some of your parents concerns may be justifiable. If you or your parent see an opportunity to improve a situation, always speak up. Remember, you want what is best for your parent. Your parent should be respected and kept safe at all times, anytime they feel they are not, should always be addressed. Take time to review all the policies and rules about the assisted living. The policies will help you better explained the rules put in place to keep your parent safe while living at the assisted living facility.
Talk to staff members at the assisted living about the difficulties surrounding the transition. Ask them for their advice about how you can make the transition easier for all parties involved. After your loved one has moved in, ask the staff to help keep an extra eye out for them until they settled and doing better with the process. Ask staff for their assistance with getting your loved one involved with activities, going to the dining hall, and getting oriented to how things operate at the facility. However, remember, the staff also have other residents they have to help assist as well.
Once your parent is settled into their new home, set some boundaries. Give them a chance to adjust without you visiting every day. Instead, set up specific days to call and maybe visit once a week during the adjustment period. This gives your parents time to interact with other residents and get involved in activities. Your loved one needs time to get used to the idea of not having to depend on you as much. You will also need to adjust to not being the primary caregiver any longer. At Timber Ridge and Vine Ridge, we know how difficult transitioning a parent to assisted living can be. To find out more about how we can help you and your loved one through the process, contact us today at 707. 822. 9000.