A move to assisted living in Hendersonville can be fraught with emotion for both aging seniors and their devoted family caregivers. Many seniors are not initially open to the idea of senior care, and even those who are looking forward to this new chapter might worry about being abandoned or feeling isolated in their new home. When navigating a parent or loved one’s move to a residential assisted living community in TN, the transitional period is of vital importance, and there are a range of things you can do to help your loved one adapt as quickly as possible. Here are 5 useful tips to help you support your loved one as they adjust to residential assisted living.
- Keep their environment as familiar as possible.
When an aging senior moves to residential assisted living, family caregivers are often tempted to buy brand new furniture or decorations in an effort to make their loved one’s new living space as comfortable as possible. While families always mean well and have their parent or loved one’s best interests at heart, this isn’t always the best decision. Moving to senior care is a huge change and, oftentimes, being surrounded by familiar items is much more beneficial. What are your loved one’s favorite pieces of furniture, artwork or ornaments from their old home? If their new space allows for it, incorporating these more personal and familiar touches can be a great comfort.
- Don’t operate alone.
We understand that as a family caregiver, it’s easy to take the weight of every decision, challenge and process onto your own shoulders. Family caregivers are naturally compassionate, and often attempt to handle everything alone. But moving a loved one to assisted living is a big step, and one that can be both emotionally and physically challenging. You deserve rest and relaxation, and your ability to help your loved one adjust will be better for it. If you can, ask other family members to help out. Perhaps your parent has another child, grandchild, niece or nephew who could schedule a visit every few weeks to give you time to recharge. Regardless of your family circumstances, your loved one’s new community are there to help, too – so don’t be afraid to ask for support or guidance.
- Avoid being overly protective.
Some of the key benefits of moving to residential assisted living are the adapted facilities, tailored support and accessible on-site amenities that can allow aging seniors to reclaim some of their independence. For family caregivers who have been responsible for their loved one’s health and wellbeing for some time, it may be difficult to let go of control. It’s common to worry about how your loved one will cope without you, but try to remind yourself that they are in the capable hands of highly skilled and expertly trained professional caregivers. Being too overbearing during the transitional stage may prevent your loved one from feeling able to explore their newfound independence and realize the benefits of residential assisted living for themselves.
- Arrange visits in a way that works for them.
In the initial weeks and months after an aging senior moves to residential assisted living, visitation can be a little tricky to navigate. Unfortunately, there really is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Some seniors benefit from regular visits, whereas others get on better seeing family less often during this stage. The only way to find out is to try and see what works; ask your loved one when they would like you to visit, and speak to staff members to find out how your loved one reacts to you dropping by. While some aging seniors are uplifted and motivated by frequent visits, others will stay in their room waiting if they know their loved one stops by regularly or become upset after their relative leaves. This can prevent seniors from exploring their community and meeting new friends, which may hinder or delay their adjustment.
- Remember your ‘why’.
Adapting to a new lifestyle in a senior care facility isn’t likely to be smooth sailing at all times. Just like any big change in life, there will inevitably be bumps in the road and issues to overcome. Your loved one might have good and bad days, but eventually, the good will increasingly start to outweigh the bad. When things feel tough, remember all of the reasons you decided on a move to residential assisted living, and feel reassured that your loved one will ultimately be able to live a healthier, happier and more independent life.
- Keep their environment as familiar as possible.
Throughout our lifetime, we are all faced with countless big transitions: starting school, moving to college, moving out of the family home, getting married, starting a new job (to name just a few!) Each of these major changes come with their own unique challenges, and these challenges are experienced differently by each individual. Moving to residential assisted living is no different, and adequate support is vital to help aging seniors adjust.
To discover how New Hope Senior Living supports seniors and family caregivers in adjusting to residential assisted living, get in touch today and arrange a personalized tour.