Making the Transition

Move in day can be an emotionally difficult for everyone involved.  There are steps we can take to assist our loved one through the day and coming weeks.

  • Allow your loved one plenty of time on move in day to deal with their emotions.  Give them the time to talk about their emotions and provide reassurance.

  • Share any upcoming plans with them regarding the days and times you or others will be visiting or events they may attend.

  • Help them prepare their new apartment with their personal belongings, especially those that have meaning from home.

  • Plan to spend the entire day with them including having dinner to help with the transition.

Tips for Seniors Transitioning to Assisted Living:

  • Begin packing well in advance.  Give yourself the time to make important decisions about which items you want to take to your new home.  It’s important to avoid added stress of moving and putting yourself in a position to make quick decisions.

  • Decorate your new home with personal pictures, important possessions and treasured items that you brought from home.  Make sure to bring your favorite family pictures, books, quilt and favorite chair.

  • Get to know the staff and your neighbors.  At first, many people are tempted to stay in their apartment but it is important to meet other people, participate in the community and continue with any hobbies.

  • Be patient with yourself, we all adjust differently to change.  Give yourself the time to adjust and if needed talk to your family, close friend or professional to work through your feelings. 

 

Assisting with the Transition to the Assisted Living Community:

  • Introduce staff to your loved one and ask if each shift could take a moment and introduce themselves throughout the next week.

  • Share any additional information about your loved one you feel may be important for staff to know.

  • Make sure your loved one is familiar with the upcoming events taking place and where everything is located within the community.

  • Make sure your loved one is aware of the any process they may need to utilize; such as laundry, dining, medication management, transportation and other services.

  • Work through any concerns or issues together.  Do not assume that any complaints are just part of their adjustment to moving into a new place.  If they have a concern, listen to what the issue is and work with them on a resolution.  Depending on the issue you may need to involve employees or administration.

  • Although we play a vital role in our loved one’s transition to assisted living, it is also important to encourage them to socialize and get involved in the activities within the community.  We need to maintain our relationship with our loved one and continue to visit when possible.  During these visits it may be beneficial to attend different activities with our loved ones to ensure they are meeting new people, socializing and adjusting well to their new home.

Keeping in mind throughout the entire process that each person adjusts differently.  One person may move from their home into assisted living and flourish while another may take awhile to adjust to their new environment.

Suggestions for Family and Friends:

Do:

  • Recognize that moving to a new home represents a major change in their life.

  • If your loved one asks, help with the packing and moving process.

  • Listen to your loved one and if there are things they left behind but are requesting assist them.

  • Call and visit often during the first few weeks.

  • Focus on the positive and be understanding.

Don’t:

  • Criticize or talk negatively about the move if you do not agree with the decision.

  • Take over the packing and moving process.

  • Focus on your feelings and yourself.  This move is about your loved one, it is time to focus on assisting them.

  • Talk about selling their home, belongings or making any additional changes.

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