Change can be challenging for everyone, even when those changes involve positive life experiences – like welcoming a new grandchild to the family or moving to the retirement community of your dreams. However, when life changes are associated with a decline in health or a loss of independence, the transitions become even more difficult.
Transitioning into an assisted living community is an example of a life change that doesn’t happen easily. There can be hesitation, resistance and fear of what’s ahead – both for your loved one and everyone involved. While this is often a difficult time, there are things you can do to help smooth this transition and make it easier for your loved one.
Begin the Conversation Early
If you’ve been thinking about an assisted living facility for your loved one, you don’t want to wait until you’ve already started looking to bring up the subject. This is a major life transition, and one that they’ll need time to adjust to. The earlier you can gently begin these conversations, the easier it will be for them to transition when the time finally arrives.
Make Them Part of the Process
Depending on where you’re loved one is transitioning from, they may feel as though everything is in a state of upheaval and that they’ve lost control of their own life. This can at least be partly remedied by including them as much as possible based on their physical and mental capabilities.
For instance, you can bring them along to tour the different facilities you’ve researched, encourage them to ask questions and listen to their input. Remember that they may be resistant and looking for flaws, but this gives them a chance to voice their concerns and it gives you the opportunity to listen.
Keep Your Loved One’s Limitations In Mind
While it’s important to make them part of the process, you also don’t want to overburden them with tasks or details. This is especially true if the reason you’re considering an assisted living facility is because your loved one needs continual Alzheimer’s care or is suffering from dementia.
By the time a person reaches the point where assisted living is the best option, it can be best to take care of all the planning, packing and deciding what to bring on your own or with the help of others. These types of tasks can remind the person of what they’re giving up and make the transition even more difficult.
Personalize Their Environment
An assisted living community doesn’t need to be a sterile environment. Speak to the staff at the facility and ask them what their policies are on decorations and personal belongings. Take the day before your loved one officially transitions to personalize their new space and make it feel as welcoming and comforting as possible.
A Compassionate Approach to Assisted Living
At Princeton Health Care Center, we understand what an emotional and difficult time this can be for your loved one. We’re here to do whatever we can to help ease the transition. Reach out to Princeton Health Care Center and schedule a tour of our community today.