Moving a parent, or parents, into an assisted living community can be an emotional experience for everyone involved; however, it can also be an exciting new chapter in the life of your loved one. In order to properly navigate these feelings during such a transitional time, here are a few strategies to keep in mind when helping your senior parent move into a new living situation.
How to Transition Parents to Assisted Living Communities
- Take Your Time – Experts agree it takes three-to-six months for someone to adjust to assisted living. Once your parent is moved in, decide how frequently you want to visit. Some experts say visiting as often as possible is best as frequent visits help to ease the stress of adjusting to a new home and can lessen feelings of loneliness.
However, if your parent is simply waiting around for you to show up and not engaging and interacting in his or her community, then it might be best to take a break. Creating a dependency on you might not be healthy when your parents could be socializing with other residents. Set boundaries and expectations so your parent knows exactly when you’re visiting, and when you’re not.
- Embrace the Discomfort – Sometimes setbacks will happen, and your parent might want to come home. Hearing your parent express these feelings could be extremely discomforting. However, home is more than just a physical place. Be ready to anticipate these moments so you can both come to an understanding and quickly resolve any issues that arise. If your parent says they’re homesick, talk about what they miss. Acknowledging the difficulties of transitioning to assisted living helps your parent feel seen and heard, which, in turn, makes them feel appreciated.
- Build Your Care Team – The staff at your parent’s assisted living community are there to serve both your parent and you. Making the staff aware of your parent’s concerns allows problems to be solved quicker. Let the care team know what your parent needs, because you can’t always assume they know everything that’s going on.
Don’t be afraid to also be an advocate on your parent’s behalf. Your parent may want something done for them, but may be afraid to speak up. Discreetly resolving your parent’s wishes could help them feel more at home.
Finally, encourage extended family to visit. Since you may be doing a lot of the work on your own, it can be overwhelming at times. Having other family members visit when you can’t will be a welcome surprise to your parent and a relief to you.
Introduce Your Parent to Our Welcoming Assisted Living Community
For an easy transition into assisted living in the Central Florida area, consider Encore at Avalon Park. Our community provides access to recreational and social activities and comfortable accommodations to remind your senior loved one of home. Contact Encore at Avalon Park to see for yourself why we’re your premier senior living solution. To schedule a tour, give us a call today at 407-270-7500.