Offering Emotional Support to Help a Family Member Adjust to Assisted Living
For many older adults, moving into an Assisted Living community can trigger a mix of emotions. They may feel sadness, worry, or stress about leaving the familiarity of home. It’s important to acknowledge your loved one’s feelings instead of trying to downplay the emotional aspects of moving.
Moving is a big change in life, one that’s much easier with the support of family. As a family member, you want to make sure your loved one has the support they need as they age, even if they’re reluctant to change their living arrangements. The steps you take now to support your loved one can help them feel more comfortable as they settle into a new home and start a new chapter in life.
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.
Prepare for the Changes Ahead
Here are some ways to prepare for a successful move and provide emotional support for your loved one along the way:
- Organize a family meeting. Gather 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.
- Help with the downsizing process. Instead of trying to rush through the downsizing process, set realistic expectations for downsizing with your loved one. Trying to downsize an entire home in a weekend or a few days can be overwhelming and emotionally distressing. Set aside time to look at family photo albums, share memories, and spend time reminiscing together.
- Surround them with familiar things. Ease the transition to Assisted Living by creating a familiar space that feels like home. When selecting items to move into their new apartment, choose family photos, cozy pillows, treasured knickknacks and furniture pieces that remind them of home.
- Highlight 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.
Offer Support After They 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. Family members can help by continuing to provide emotional support in this new stage of life. 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.
- Help them find engaging activities. 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 outings. Plan special excursions together to some favorite places, whether it’s a local coffee shop, place of worship, quilt shop or car show.
- Share visiting information with friends and family. Make it easy for others to reach 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 wonderful way to stay connected across the miles.
We Can Help Ease the Transition to Assisted Living
At Monticello West, we’re here to help you navigate the challenges of moving a family member into Assisted Living. You can rest assured knowing that 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.