Putting your loved one in an assisted living facility can be a stressful ordeal. No matter how much planning you do its always stressful to some degree when they actually move in. going from home to a structured environment like most assisted living facilities could be a huge shock to most seniors.
When I enroll a new client into my ALF I like to encourage the client and their families to give it at least 2-4 weeks to adjust to the facility; especially if they are coming from home. Its also important to expect setbacks; just when you think your loved one has settled in you may get a request to move or a plea to come back home. When these setbacks arise it is important to communicate them with the assisted living manager and come up with a plan to reassure your loved one that this is the best option for them.
Here are a few tips to help your loved one get adjusted:
It is important to be in contact with the assisted living manager or director as much as needed. The worse thing you could do is have issues and not communicate them; that will only lead to resentment when a issue could have been addressed with a simple conversation.
2. Surround them with familiar items
Try to decorate their room with as much from their personal home as possible. This helps with isolation and depression. From an old comfy blanket to pictures you cannot go wrong with making their room feel like home.
3. Allow them their independence
Its important during the first 2-4 weeks that you allow your loved one the time to adjust to the Assisted living facility on their own. Let them meet other residents, make new friends, learn the staff, and explore the assisted living facility. It may hurt their progress if you are constantly there every day.
4. Try not to overwhelm them
Usually when a loved one enrolls into an assisted living facility from home there is still tons of logistics to deal with. Anything from selling a previously owned home to doctor bills can be a huge added stressor to an already stressful situation. Give your loved one some time to adjust to the assisted living facility; it will prove to be an easier transition.
5. Prepare them early
The sooner you prepare your loved one to move into an assisted living facility the better. I have found the most stressful cases are the “last minute enrollments” where the families have known for some time that they wanted to place their loved one in an assisted living facility but never bothered to tell them; or told them days before.
Senior Service Maps was created by a senior care provider, in conjunction with senior care social workers, to provide a free streamlined search for families and other social workers in their quest for care/services for Seniors in need. We at senior service maps pride ourselves on removing the middle man; no more referral agencies pointing you in the direction of the highest bidder! Here, you can view provider’s pages, take virtual tours, schedule appointments, and get pricing information, all directly from the provider.
If you are having trouble with your decision or need tips and advice – chat live with one of our senior care specialist.