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How to Help a Loved One Settle into Assisted Living

Adult caregiver helping a loved one transition into assisted living.

Moving a loved one, even if they are ready and willing, into assisted living can be an emotionally complicated experience. It is easy to start second-guessing decisions and feeling guilty about the sadness your loved one is experiencing. This is all normal. It’s a major transition and it signifies the end of the life they lived for decades, but at the same time it is the start of a new chapter and an exciting adventure.

7 Ways to Help Someone Adjust to Assisted Living

As the primary caregiver and support person for your parent, it is only logical that you want to help make the transition to assisted living as smooth as possible for your loved one. The first couple of weeks are always the hardest. It will get easier every day. But in the meantime, below are some valuable tools you can use to help your loved one get adjusted in a positive way.

  1. Go Slowly – The adjustment period for moving into assisted living can be long. It’s important to remind your loved one of the benefits of assisted living and the reasons you made the joint decision to take the leap. Be as patient as possible as they adjust to their new surroundings.
  2. Stay Strong – It is easy to get caught up in the emotions of your loved one but try to stay as strong as possible throughout the process. Even if they mention wanting to go home or feeling regretful, it is your job to acknowledge their feelings while also staying positive.
  3. Bring Their Belongings – One of the most important things to do early on is to make sure your loved one is surrounded by familiar objects. Photo frames, trinkets, favorite blankets, lamps, etc.
  4. Limit Surprises – You don’t want your loved one to feel overwhelmed with new surprises while dealing with a transition to assisted living. Save new furniture, a new phone or any other new gadgets for after your loved one is settled.
  5. Label Everything – One of the challenging aspects of a new home is not knowing where everything is located. By using labels on cabinets, drawers and boxes, your loved one will have an easier time finding what they need without getting frustrated.
  6. Find Activities – Without overwhelming your loved one, it’s a good idea to encourage them to join a few activities at their new assisted living community. This will help them meet new people, find new hobbies and stop worrying so much.
  7. Help Them Maintain Independence – If your loved one loves to cook, talk to staff members about the options available to help support that hobby. If your loved one has a routine, do your best to help them keep things consistent as best they can. The goal is to help them feel empowered in their new surroundings.

Assisted living is a major transition, and it will take time to adjust to change. Go easy on your loved one and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make things perfect. All major transitions are hard and the best thing you can do is to just be there to support your loved one through every step of the journey.

Find Out if Assisted Living is Right for Your Loved One

Finding the right fit for your loved one can make all the difference. At Monticello West, we are committed to helping residents maintain their independence while getting the care and support they need to thrive. All of our residents are treated like family and encouraged to pursue their interests in a way that gives them a renewed sense of self. We invite you to contact us today to learn more about our assisted living services and to schedule a tour.