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How to Ease the Transition to Assisted Living

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Male and female siblings packing boxes on the floor, helping their senior parent move into an assisted living community.

Assisted living offers more than a place to sleep—it provides a community to join. Residents can meet new people, try new things, and utilize essential services and amenities. However, your loved one may struggle as they move into their new home. 

You can ease the transition to assisted living in several ways for your loved one, helping them settle in their new community.  

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a lifestyle for older adults who need extra support in daily life. Someone in assisted living may not need 24/7 care, but they might need help with certain tasks. 

Laundry, housekeeping, and getting dressed are things many people do without thinking every day. As you get older, you may notice these tasks leave you more winded than usual. Assisted living staff help handle these tasks for residents, letting them focus on the things they love. 

Assisted living helps with the activities of daily living, such as: 

  • Moving to and from places
  • Eating
  • Getting dressed
  • Bathing and grooming
  • Using the restroom

When Is It Time for Assisted Living? 

Assisted living can benefit your loved one’s quality of life, but you may not know the ideal time to move. Many people assume it’s best to wait as long as possible, but moving earlier can help your loved one get the care they need. 

There are several reasons your loved one may need assisted living. Watch for some of the following signs

  • Struggles with medical conditions
  • Isolation or depression
  • A dirty or unkempt home
  • Poor personal hygiene

How Can You Ease the Transition into Assisted Living? 

Assisted living has many benefits, but moving into a new community can be difficult, stressful, and emotional. Your loved one is starting a new chapter in their life, and the transition may be tough. However, you can help make this move easier in several ways. 

You can help transition your loved one into assisted living by following these tips

Let Them Bring Parts of Their Old Home with Them

Moving your loved one into a new home doesn’t mean they need to start completely fresh. Many senior living communities provide furnished apartments, but adding your loved one’s style to their new home can help make their move easier. 

Let them bring old pictures, treasured memories, and even furniture if allowed. These momentos can help make the transition into assisted living smoother. 

Be There for Your Loved One

Remember to validate your loved one’s feelings when moving them into an assisted living community. This transition will be good for them, but they may feel down or sad about leaving their current home. 

Answer their questions or concerns throughout the move and emotionally support your loved one when needed. They may only need someone to tell them everything will be okay. 

An adult daughter supporting her elderly mother touring around an assisted living community to see all of the services and amenities the community offer.

Tour the Community Before Moving

Booking a tour can help your loved one see a community before making the final move. You can see all of the services and amenities the community offers, view apartments, and ask questions to the staff on your tour. 

Handle the Details

It’s likely an emotional experience as your loved one moves into their new home. They may be leaving a place they lived for years. 

Your loved one is probably thinking about the big picture as they move—the major items they want to bring to the senior living community. While these are important, your loved one may forget the small details of the move. You can help make the transition into assisted living easier by handling these details. 

You can assist your loved one’s move in several ways, including: 

  • Canceling their current bills
  • Hiring movers or coordinating family to help
  • Setting up their new utilities at the senior community
  • Planning their first few days at the community
  • Speaking with facility staff to establish your loved one’s care plan

Stay available to support your loved one’s needs throughout this transition—having a shoulder to lean on can help. 

Visit Them Often

Your loved one’s transition into assisted living is more than moving them into the community. They’ll likely need time to get used to their new home, and your presence can help create some normalcy. Visiting every few days can give your loved one something to look forward to and help them settle. 

Senior communities usually have daily events and activities you and your loved one can join. Spend time trying something new, exploring the community, or relaxing outside. Your loved one will appreciate any time you spend together. 

Make the Transition to Assisted Living 

Assisted living helps provide the daily care older adults need. The transition can be tough, but you can help make it easier for your loved one. You can always contact your community with questions or concerns about your loved one’s new home. 

Contact Serenity South Senior Living if you’re interested in assisted living for a loved one. 

Written by Deborah Shane

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