Moving a loved one to an assisted living community is not as simple as we ‘d like. It takes time before he/she transitions to the new home and adjusts to the environment. Home or miles away you need to be there as the primary caregiver. What has changed is the living arrangement but your role as the primary caregiver still remains when he/she moves.
Plan for the move
It’s important to encourage your loved one by having a good farewell. Remember that he/she may have established relationships in their home so they feel that they will be losing this as they move to a completely new setting Prepare your loved one for the personal and emotional process of moving by discussing it with them ahead of time. You can create a dinner party in your loved one’s home prior to the week of moving and invite close friends and neighbors. This will help your loved one in starting over in a new and unfamiliar setting.
Allow them to establish a familiar setting.
Your loved one may want to carry certain possessions as they move to a new setting. Allow for this as it usually helps them to make the environment more familiar. Sometimes loved ones will mourn missing their stuff that was discarded or given away upon their move. Don’t be too quick to get rid of your loved one’s items when they insist on carrying some when moving. Help them create a setting that is similar to the one they left home by carrying some of their stuff to assisted living. It helps them feel at home instantly and get through the difficult transition.
Understand who does what
When moving your loved one to an assisted living community, it’s important to understand what kind of help he/she will be getting from the staff and who is in charge for him/her. It is probably your first time dealing with a retirement community or senior long term care. Feel free to ask questions or clarifications especially when it comes to the people responsible for fulfilling your loved one’s needs. Let them breakdown the lengthy contractual document for you in a way you can understand.
The services offered by assisted living communities vary depending on the budget and type of care needed. You need to have a primary point person who you can talk to in various circumstances. In the same way, the community should be informed on who the primary point person in your family is just in case there’s an emergency and someone needs to be contacted.