How Do I Get My Parents to Move to Assisted Living?
For the past couple of months, you may have noticed the behavior of your parent is changing. They may be having a difficult time keeping up with household chores such as laundry and doing the dishes. Maybe they don't remember to take their medicines on a regular schedule, or perhaps you think they could use some more social interaction.
Based on your observations, you could be considering moving your loved into an assisted living community. Transitioning your loved one to a new environment can be overwhelming, so before you settle them into their new home, check out these four tips to make the transition smoother.
1. MAKE A FEW VISITS TO THE COMMUNITY BEFORE THE MOVE.
It is essential for your loved one to feel a certain level of security before they move into the community. Consider scheduling a few dates to come for a meal, attend an activity, and meet some of the residents and staff. The more your parent is acquainted with the new community, the less stressful the transition will be.
2. FOLLOW THROUGH WITH YOUR DECISION.
As you prepare your loved one to move, they may express anger, frustration, and confusion. These emotions are entirely normal. However, decide with confidence that you are doing the right thing for yourself and your parent. Remember the reasons you came to that decision, and stand firm even if your loved one is unhappy.
3. VALIDATE YOUR LOVED ONE'S FEELINGS.
Recognize that change is hard. When having conversations with your loved one, empathize with them. If your loved one expresses concern, try responding with, "I understand that this is going to be a big change for you. We are doing this because we want the best for you." Afterward, reassure them that you will visit with them in their new home, and they will always be loved. Keep in mind that if you are expressing any nervous energy while having critical conversations, your loved can pick up on that energy and may be affected. Remain self-assured when comforting your loved one.
4. PERSONALIZE THEIR APARTMENT TO THEIR LIKES AND INTERESTS.
Having familiar furniture, decorations, or belongings arranged similarly to how they were at home could go a long way toward making the apartment much more comfortable for your parent. Before moving to the community, ask if there are any particular photos or memorabilia they would like to take.
Moving your parents to assisted living is a big transition and one that takes time, patience, understanding, and love. Trust that your loved one will eventually treat their community like their new home. If you have questions about the assisted living transition process, we would love to speak with you. Click here to talk with one of our care consultants.
About the Author
Linda DeSmet joined the Provision Living family in 2016 after working 18 years with the Alzheimer’s Association. With a master’s degree in gerontology, she brings her extensive knowledge about dementia and its impact on the individual and family to the Provision Living communities. Prior to working for Provision Living and the Alzheimer’s Association, she worked for the Area Agency on Aging and as a teacher.