Ways to Emotionally Support a Family Member Adjusting to Assisted Living
When it’s time to move into Assisted Living, it’s common for older adults and their families to go through a range of emotions. As a family member, you want to help your loved one make a smooth transition so they’ll be happy and well adjusted in their new home. Whether they’re looking forward to the extra help that comes with Assisted Living or are hesitant to move to a new place, it’s important to make sure they have the support they need as they age.
Although moving away from the familiarity of home can be an emotional time for your loved one, you can help turn it into a positive experience. Coming to terms with the reality that they need some help isn’t easy, but doing so can help them move forward with confidence. You can help by maintaining a calm approach and focusing on the perks of moving.
We’ll cover the ways family members can help make the transition easier with advice for navigating the emotional journey before and after moving to Assisted Living.
Be Ready for Changes Ahead
Consider the following ways to prepare for a successful move and provide emotional support for your loved one:
- Have a family meeting. Come together with family members to share concerns and discuss potential solutions and next steps in the moving process. Finding ways to work together can relieve underlying tension and prepare everyone involved for the changes ahead.
- Allow enough time for the downsizing process. It’s important to set realistic expectations for downsizing with your loved one. Trying to downsize an entire home in a few days can be overwhelming and emotionally distressing. Look for opportunities to slow down and take time to reminisce about family photos and heirlooms.
- Keep familiar things close by. When selecting items to move into their new apartment, bring family photos, cozy pillows, treasured knickknacks and furniture pieces that remind them of home. Creating a familiar space that feels like home can help ease the transition to an Assisted Living community.
- Emphasize the positive aspects of moving. Encourage your loved one to embrace the positive benefits of moving to a community where they’ll have convenient access to restaurant-style dining, a fitness center, social events, and so much more. With a maintenance-free lifestyle, there’s less to worry about and more time to enjoy what matters most to them.
Supporting Them After the Move
The first few months after someone moves into an Assisted Living community is a critical time for forming new routines and meeting new friends. You can help by continuing to provide emotional support as your family member gets settled in. Here are some ways to do that:
- Visit regularly. Seeing familiar faces can help your loved one feel at home. Frequent visits from family and friends can lift their spirits, especially in the first few weeks and months.
- Seek out activities to try. There are so many ways to get involved with fun and fulfilling activities in a senior living community, but it can take some time to branch out and try new things. If your loved one needs some encouragement, you could help them find a class or activity that matches their interests, or attend a social event on campus together.
- Go on off-campus outings. Plan special trips together to some favorite places, whether it’s a local coffee shop, place of worship, quilt shop or car show.
- Encourage friends and family to reach out. Make it easy for others to connect with your loved one by sharing their new address and phone number. Even if the distance is too far for a visit, exchanging letters and phone calls is a great way to stay connected across the miles.
We Can Help Ease the Transition to Assisted Living
At Walnut Place, we’re here to help you navigate the challenges of moving a loved one into Assisted Living. You can rest assured your loved one will be in a caring and supportive environment where they’ll be inspired to make the next chapter in life the most fulfilling yet. We invite you to learn more about our all-inclusive Assisted Living community in Dallas, Texas.