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Helping Parents Transition to Assisted Living

Moving to a new home is one of life’s most stressful events. Helping your parents transition from living in their own home to an assisted living community, even if they are ready and willing to move, can be challenging for the entire family. Employing a few key strategies before, during, and after the move can help ease the process and prepare your parents for this new phase of life. Further, taking the time to have a thoughtful, communicative approach where your parents are an active participants in the decision process will help both you and them feel the most excited and comfortable during the move.

Preparing Emotionally Before the Move

Many older adults prefer to stay in their home as long as possible, however, home is not always the safest place for your aging parents. If your parents are reluctant to make the transition to assisted living, it is best to look for natural opportunities to bring up the advantages of living in a senior living community. For example, if your parents are telling you how difficult it is to keep up with laundry or they are saying they are lonely, use that opportunity to broach the subject. It is better to have several conversations over a period of time than to wait until a health emergency occurs and a move becomes imperative. 

It’s important to listen to your parent’s concerns and be patient as they process. It’s possible they will express excitement about the idea of moving one day and the next day decide it is out of the question. Encourage and respect your parent’s independence while also being open and honest about the realities of their situation.

Before moving, help your parents get a feel for daily life in the community. Take a look at the community’s social media pages, like Facebook, to see what sort of life-enrichment activities are happening. Investigate the services and amenities offered, see dining options, and contact the community to see if your parents could participate in any upcoming events they have planned.

The more connection you can build with the community before the move, the easier the transition will be for you and your parents.

Downsizing and Making the Move

​Once the move has been scheduled, your parents may worry about what furniture or memorabilia they can take with them. Find out what is important to them. Are there items they would like to give to a family member? Are there specific items they feel they cannot part with? Measure the furniture they would like to bring and review the floor plan and square footage to create a layout of their new space.

 

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Caring Transition Tips

As moving day approaches it’s normal for your parents to feel apprehensive. You may feel guilty and second-guess your decision. It will take time for everyone to adjust to this new phase of life. Here are a few tips to ease the transition process:

    • Keep lines of communication openIt is important to keep the conversation going between you and your parent, no matter what stage of the moving process. Ensure that your parent is part of the discussion by asking them their opinions and input and making sure that there is space for them to ask questions and voice concerns. Withholding information from your parent can disrupt their trust and add to anxiety about moving, and so it’s important to communication to them clearly and openly, even if there are steps that need to be done in a certain way. Acknowledging to your parent that this is a big transition will help them feel seen and cared for, and like you understand their process and needs.
    • Take tours of the community whenever possible
      Taking a tour of the assisted living facility is an excellent way to get your parent familiar with their new home and environment. Don’t be afraid to schedule more than one tour; it may take more than an initial visit to get acquainted with the community and to know what questions to ask. Even virtual tours can be helpful in making your parent more comfortable in their new space. If they are moving to a new city, setting aside time for exploring their new town is also a crucial step in the moving process.Tours can also help your parent decide what they do, or don’t, like about a community, and it will give them more agency in the decision-making process of the move to assisted living.
    • Create a new, fun routine and get involved
      A relaxed routine can be a helpful and healthy way to create stability in a new environment. With so many activities and programming offered at Sunny Vista, we have found that creating a schedule can go a long way toward making friends and feeling at home in a new community. If you can help your parent to create a schedule like what they had in their own home, such as talking a morning walk or playing cards after lunch, this will help create a familiar and welcoming environment and make the transition to assisted living easier.
    • Be your parent’s best advocateDuring the transition to assisted living, it’s important to give the move time and allow for your parent to adjust and settle into a new routine. It is also important for you to continue to listen to them and help advocate for them and their needs. Share in their excitement when they make new friends or start a new hobby, and also trust your instincts if you feel that there are adjustments that can be made to help your parent live their best and most energized live in assisted living.
    • Make lists and plan aheadBefore the move date, help your parent feel secure and comfortable by making a schedule of the transition. It can also help to make lists of items and belongings that will be going with your parent to their new home, what items they may want to get rid of or donate, and which things can go into storage. Keep these lists visible so that your parent can revisit them at any time if they are feeling anxious about the move. A move to assisted living is also a great time to replace any worn out clothes or other belongings, so that your parent can start fresh and feeling and looking good.
    • Get to know the staffMake it a priority to get to know the staff at your parent’s new community, even if you are many miles away. This can mean taking a moment to check in when you call, or to learn the staff’s names when you visit. This will help your parent feel like their life is not a strange setting to you, and that the people involved in their day-to-day life are as familiar to you as they are to your parent.

What to Expect at The Retreat at Sunny Vista

The Retreat at Sunny Vista, focuses our efforts on nurturing the whole person, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Residents are welcomed and encouraged to participate in events and programming as much or as little as they like.

Community engagement can be a wonderful addition to the lives of our residents, as can quiet time alone to reflect and rest in their private space. Whether joining in a song or working together to prepare a meal, the spirit of wellness and family is present in everything we do. Learn about life at The Retreat from Janice, a resident who was not excited about moving to assisted living but found a place to live life on her own terms.

Choosing an assisted living community for your parents is an important decision. Our care philosophy is based on the five pillars of wellness: social, intellectual, physical, purposeful, and spiritual. Residents can enjoy easy access to physical therapy and recreation in our state-of-the-art fitness and therapy center while reaping the emotional and social benefits of a warm and engaging community.

​Spirituality and intellect are fed by nondenominational religious services and regular events meant to challenge the mind and enliven the soul. And when it comes to a supportive and encouraging environment, The Retreat is designed to be a comfortable and stimulating space where seniors of varying needs and abilities can live, grow, and thrive.

Our dedicated team is here to support you before, during, and after your parent’s transition to assisted living. Please contact us with questions or to schedule an in-person tour today.

Pinnacle Customer Experience Award

Pinnacle Award logo White

CEA Master File Three Color Logo 2023
CEA Master File Three Color Logo 2023

 

Sunny Vista Senior Living is excited to announce that the Living Center at Sunny Vista and the Retreat at Sunny Vista have both been awarded the 2022 Pinnacle Customer Experience Award. Also, in 2023 the Living Center received the Pinnacle Customer Experience Award.

Read The Article Here

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