4 Simple Ways to Ease the Transition to Assisted Living
1. Make Sure That You Choose the Right Facility
Perhaps one of the main things that will make a big difference during this time is the quality of the facility that has been chosen. There are so many things that you have to look at when choosing an assisted living facility, so this should never be a rushed decision. Instead, you will want to make sure that you choose a facility that is clean, comfortable and reputable. You will also want to make sure that it has professional and kind staff members who are experienced in helping people in an assisted living facility setting, and you’ll probably want to look for a facility that has plenty of amenities and perks for residents to enjoy, such as a shuttle that can take them shopping and on-site activities that can keep them entertained and encourage them to mix and mingle with the other residents of the facility.
2. Visit the Facility Beforehand
If you are going to be moving to the facility yourself, you will probably want to make arrangements to visit at least a time or two before you move in. Then, you can help ensure that the facility is truly right for you, and you can get an idea of what to expect. On the other hand, if it’s your parent who is moving into the facility, you will definitely want to take him or her there at least a couple of times as well. After all, even though you might have mostly made the decision about where your parent would go yourself, it is still important for you to get his or her input and to make sure that he or she has an understanding of where he or she will be going once the move takes place.
3. Get Things Unpacked Quickly
Moving and unpacking everything can be a big job, and it can be quite time-consuming. It might be tempting to stash a few boxes of mementos and other items in the closet at the assisted living facility or to vow to have certain things brought there later, after you or your loved one are settled in. However, it’s generally best to get everything moved as soon as possible and to get everything unpacked quickly, even if you have to enlist professional help or ask a few friends or family members to assist you. The sooner that you are able to get things moved to the facility and then unpacked, the sooner you or your loved one will begin to feel at home in the new facility.
4. Personalize as Much as Possible
Even the nicest of assisted living facilities can sometimes feel a little bit “sterile” when compared to a person’s family home. However, this does not have to be the case. It is important to do whatever you can, within the facility’s rules, to make the room feel comfortable and “like home.” Hanging pictures on the walls, bringing out comfortable blankets from home, putting up a few seasonal decorations or setting up vases or pots with fresh flowers and live plants can all help a lot. This can make the unit at the assisted facility feel like a home and not part of an institution.
If you are going to be moving to an assisted living facility or if you are helping your parent through this difficult but often necessary process, you could be wondering how you can make things a little bit easier. It’s true that this can be a major change, but if you follow these four tips, you can help simplify the transition and make things as easy as possible.