Making the decision to move a loved one into an assisted living facility is often very difficult for all who are involved. Every situation is unique, some people recognize that they are ready to downsize and significantly reduce their domestic responsibilities while others may be extremely resistant to the very thought that they even consider leaving their home and their independence for a facility. Whichever circumstance that you find yourself in with your elderly relative, there are ways to make the transition easier for all involved.
Step 1 Transition to Assisted Living: Communication
It is very important to develop and maintain open lines of communication. If your relative is reluctant to move speak to them gently, with care and understanding. Let them know that their feelings are valid and offer reassurance that this does not mean a loss of independence – as this is typically the greatest fear. Point out all the things that they will no longer have to be responsible for such as taking the garbage out, mowing the lawn or keeping house. Help them to see that this leaves them free to fully explore their interests and activities at their leisure.
Step 2 Transition to Assisted Living: Visit the Facility
Visit the facility well in advance of the move. Meet the staff and other residents – take a tour and become familiar with all the activities that are scheduled for your relative to participate in. Many facilities will allow and encourage your relative to join activities of their interest before the move has been finalized as a means to increasing familiarity and comfort in the decision.
Step 3 Transition to Assisted Living: Plan and Execute
A move such as this takes a lot of planning. Ensuring that your relative is involved in all decisions will help them to feel that they do in fact remain in control of their lives. Seek help from other family members or engage a professional who specializes in assisting families and their elderly relatives in transition. Make a plan together and ensure that you offer validation that it is a difficult transition and that while there are changes and some losses there are many gains as well.
Certainly these transitions are emotional. They represent significant milestones in the lives of all who are involved. Communicating with love and care goes a long way towards easing everybody’s feelings on the matter. Making informed decisions together with your loved one allows them to retain control and independence. Meticulous planning for the move and enlisting as much positive support as possible also contributes to a positive experience for all.
If you find you need support, we can work side by side with you or your parents and assist in de-cluttering, sorting and paring down possessions and help to create and preserve a legacy of treasures and memories that will never be forgotten. We’ll provide the knowledge and decision-making support to organize the home for sale if needed as well. With patience and guided assistance we help find new homes for unwanted and unused items through sales, donations and recycling, and ensure that vital documents and papers are in order and available for quick and easy access. Reach out!