Breathing a sigh of relief, families typically feel their anxiety levels decrease once their parents or other loved ones have decided to move into an assisted living community.
Looking forward to them having help with daily tasks, including participating in activities and healthy dining, your loved ones will also appreciate the support needed to live their highest quality of life.
However, moving into a senior living home is still a significant change and it will require a period of adjustment for both the new residents as well as their families.
Tips to help settle into a new senior living home
There are steps that can be taken to help your loved ones settle into their new home as soon as possible. Consider the following suggestions to create a welcoming space that will soon feel just like home:
Tip #1: Plan ahead
Unless your family is in a crisis situation and plans had to be made in a hurry, allow for enough time to speak with your loved ones about the type of community they’d prefer and schedule tours.
After visiting several communities, choose a move-in date that works for them and provides enough time to get organized and downsize if needed.
Tip #2: Choose the right floorplan
Get off on the right track and encourage your loved ones to view the different options and chose the floorplan, layout and location in the community that works best for their new senior living home.
Request a copy of the floor plan and play around with furniture arrangements. It’s better not to create a crowded space. Allow for enough room to move safely while not being worn down by accumulations.
Tip #3: Bring along favorites
Talk to your loved ones about what makes their existing space feel most like home. Is it the favorite reading chair and lamp? Or the framed photographs and grandchildren’s artwork? Perhaps it’s the heirloom comforter on their bed.
Whenever possible, recreating a corner in their new senior living home or bringing a few treasured possessions can make them feel more comfortable and reassured that they are once again truly at home.
Tip #4: Help create familiarity with the community
Before moving in, try to schedule visits to the community so your loved ones can become a little more familiar with the neighborhood and buildings. It takes time to adjust to change and the more times they visit, the more it will feel like home.
Tip #5: Meet the other residents and staff beforehand
It’s also a great idea to meet some of the other residents and staff before moving into their senior living home. Recognizing a friendly face on move-in day can go a long way in smoothing out those initial feelings of the unfamiliar.
Share a few meals or activities with the residents if possible. Spend a few moments talking with the staff about preferences and personalities beforehand as well.
Tip #6: Adjust expectations and attitudes
It’s helpful to set realistic expectations with your loved ones before they move into their new senior living home. While you want to be positive and reassure them that they made the right decision, it’s better to acknowledge that hesitation is also completely normal.
Tip #7: Tailor your visits to their needs
It’s helpful to tailor your response and support toward your loved ones moving into their senior living home based on their needs and preferences.
If they could use additional emotional assistance, offer to stop by more or share a few meals with them to help them get to know the other residents. If they prefer to handle it themselves, perhaps make a phone call after a few days to ask how they’re doing.
Tip #8: Be positive and reassuring
It’s not uncommon for new residents to second-guess their decision or to look back at life at home fondly – even if somewhat misremembered.
Keep positive and gently remind them if needed about some of the challenges they were facing and point specifically to how the services or amenities at their new senior living home can help them experience more independence.
Tip #9: Give it time
Along with adjusting attitudes and expectations, don’t expect your loved ones to adapt overnight. This is a big change and it represents much more than merely changing their address.
Help them be patient and if they’re struggling with meeting others or feeling like they don’t fit in, remind them to give it another few days or weeks.
Tip #10: Ask for help
If your loved ones seem to be struggling after a certain amount of time to settle into their new senior living home, it may be time to ask for help.
Talk to the staff who are well experienced in helping residents and their families make the transition from one home to their new one.
Assisted Living at Seaside Hallandale Beach
We’re here to answer any questions you may have about senior living and invite your family to see how our community can encourage and promote a higher quality of life.
We invite you to visit Seaside Hallandale Beach, which is designed to provide activities and social opportunities to help our residents in reaching their wellness goals.
Supporting our residents to age well, we believe you or your parents will enjoy the services and amenities available in our pet-friendly community:
- A monthly social calendar of activities
- Beautiful common spaces to socialize
- Weekly housekeeping
- A spacious courtyard
- An outdoor pool with a covered patio
- Personalized fitness and wellness programs
- Scheduled transportation
- Easy and safe access to the beach