It’s never an easy decision to put your loved one into an assisted living facility. But when you do make the choice, you want it to be the best situation for your loved one. You want your senior to feel at home and at peace. You want to know that you have made the right decision and that your senior loved one is happy and fulfilled. Here are four things you can do to prepare your loved one for this big change.
1. Involve Your Senior
Even if the decision rests solely on you, you want to involve them wherever possible. After all, it is their life. Whether it is letting them choose the possessions they take with them or talk to them about what types of activities or amenities are important to them in a home. If at all possible, let them help choose the facility. When they feel included in choosing a home like Pegasus, they are more likely to enjoy their experience and to thrive.
2. Be Considerate
Moving, no matter the stage of life, is a stressful experience. But you can help take some of the stress off. Know the exact dimensions of the new apartment and plan out space before the move. Take pictures of their current home so that you can arrange the new apartment as close to identically as possible. When your loved one knows that you understand their trepidation and that the biggest fear is losing their independence, they tend to feel better and less resistant.
3. Seek Support
If you find that your elder is extremely resistant to making this transition, you may need to bring in reinforcements. This could be other family members, a trusted physician, someone from their church or even a therapist. Perhaps someone else can reinforce to them that they are not moving into an assisted living facility to die, but to be safe and comfortable and to get a little extra help. Your loved one may prefer a gentle reminder that their independence will not be lost from someone else.
4. Visit the Facility
Once you have chosen which assisted living facility your loved one will be moving into, it may help to take several trips there to get acclimated and start to make acquaintances. If at all possible, see if your loved one can attend a social event or two. If this is not permissible, maybe you two can walk around the campus and start making plans for the future. For instance, you might make a plan to get together under a particular tree every week because it reminds you both of the one at the house they grew up in.
If moving is the final decision, don’t procrastinate. Allow your loved one the time and space to process it all, but don’t procrastinate. Waiting until the last minute can be disastrous and make the experience traumatic. Make sure that you are working together and doing what is best to keep your senior safe and secure financially, mentally and physically.