February 26, 2019
Moving to a new place can come with stress. And, when you’re moving mom or dad to an independent living community, it may come with many emotions. However, there are many things you can do to help make a smooth transition.
To make your loved one feel at ease, create a warm, welcoming new home through the décor. You’ll want to include both familiar pieces and new pieces to fit mom or dad’s current needs.
Use the following five tips to help you get started setting up your loved one’s new apartment.
Photography and art help create a space that’s unique to your loved one. It’s also a great way to include some treasured pieces from mom or dad’s old home. Even more, photos are an easy item to update as a way to keep your parent’s home fresh.
One common challenge with photos is sorting and organizing years of memories. It’s often a good idea to digitize them. Then, you can help mom or dad keep them organized or print them out to display in albums or photo books.
In addition to creating a welcoming home, you also want it to be safe and functional. For example, your old, soft chair may no longer be best for getting up and down. For many seniors, falls are a real concern. According to the National Council for Aging Care, 1 in 4 Americans over 65 falls each year. So, look out for tripping hazards like rugs or cords.
When it comes to function, think through the items and tasks your loved one does each day. Then, use those to guide organization and placement. You’ll want these items to be easily accessible.
It’s likely that your parent’s new apartment will be smaller than his or her former home. So, use this time as an opportunity to declutter and downsize. Only keep furniture or décor pieces that fit the size of your loved one’s new rooms.
It also may be a good time to pare down clothing, duplicate items, or items not frequently used. If you’re having a hard time deciding what to keep, seek out help from a professional organizer. Often, this makes letting go of items a smoother process.
A few houseplants can go a long way toward making a home. They add texture and warmth to a room. They also can help improve the air quality of your loved one’s home. Even more, nurturing plants has been shown to boost your mood.
Some may find it they need to downsize the number of plants in their new home. Help mom or dad pick a few easy-to-maintain plants. Then, consider donating the rest to a school, business, or other community organization that would enjoy them.
It’s not the décor but the friends and family who make a new place feel like home. To that end, you’ll want to help your parent set up things to encourage social interaction. Arrange the furniture with guests in mind – including places to sit and talk or share a meal.
Above all, you want to reflect your parent’s unique personality through the décor. Interesting pieces or art are great ways for guests to connect with your loved one’s story. By including these small, sentimental details, you’ll be on your way to creating an inviting place for your loved one – and all who visit.
At Monticello West, we want each of our residents to have a comfortable, safe home that they love. Find out more about our independent living options. We’re here to help you be at home. Call (214) 528-0660 to schedule a tour.
“Mom loves her apartment. It’s nicely painted and carpeted, and the size is perfect for her. She has a living room area with a full-size couch and chairs, so she can entertain guests. I visit a couple of times a week, and my husband swings by on other days. My son stops by every few weeks, too. Mom has her own space that looks and feels like home. Every time I’m there, she just seems contented. ”
“The minute I entered the community I liked what I saw, but it didn’t stop there. I’ve visited other communities where the furniture was lovely in the main areas and when you proceeded down the hallways, it was a different scenario. But as we continued to look around at Monticello West, I thought: This is pleasant! ”
“The staff is caring and genuine. From the beginning, we didn’t feel like we were being processed, date-stamped and handed off to the next person. The community must have an exceptional hiring process, because I have yet to find someone there who isn’t qualified, doesn’t respect me or that I don’t enjoy. The caregivers are polite, and perhaps most important, I trust them.”