Your parent may be experiencing a wave of emotions and fears as they get ready to make the move to an assisted living facility. The fear of a loss of independence, getting bored in life, and losing connections with family and friends are just a few worries that might be going through your parent's mind. Your support and encouragement can go a long way in making them feel safe and secure during their transition. Here are a few ways you can help prepare your parent for a happy and successful life in their new assisted living home:
Visit Often Beforehand
Having an opportunity to visit the assisted living facility often before actually moving there will give your parent an opportunity to get to know the other residents and build friendships, as well as get used to the schedules and amenities that are available. When moving in, a stable social life and some consistency can be enjoyed, making the transition less isolating and intimidating. Click here for more info about various options or take your parent to visit the facility during the day, in the evening, and on both a weekday and weekend to get a full sense of the activities and structures that are put into place at any given time.
Mimic the Nutritional Plan
It's a good idea to get your parent used to the type of cuisine and nutritional plan that is used at the assisted living facility so that they enjoy their meals from the start, and their digestion doesn't give them a problem to contend with while they settle in to their new place. You should be able to get a menu for the coming weeks and then work off of that to prepare meals for your parent that are similar in fiber content and flavor. You may even want to have lunch or dinner at the facility with your loved one a few times before they move in.
Manage a Similar Schedule
There is typically a daily schedule for things like meal time, social activities, outings, and wellness programs to look forward to, but the schedule can be overwhelming for someone who is used to living on their own terms and schedules. An effective way to help prepare your parent for their newly anticipated schedule is to get a copy of the facility's schedule and incorporate the same flow where your parent is currently living. It's probably not feasible to incorporate the schedule exactly as it is, but mimicking the basic stuff should give your parent a chance to get comfortable with specific meal and meeting times as well as social events.
Create a Visitation Schedule
To help your parent feel supported and to minimize their loneliness, put together a visitation schedule before they make the move. Contact friends and family for commitments to specific visitation days and times, and compile a schedule on a calendar that your parent can hang on the wall and keep track of so they know who will be visiting at any given time. A visitation schedule will provide your parent with some comfort and give them something to look forward to as they get used to their new assisted living home.
Put Together Some Keepsakes
You can help your parent make their new assisted living home feel comforting and familiar by putting together a few keepsakes to decorate the place with. Frame collages of family pictures, and design a table centerpiece or two made up of trinkets that will remind your parent of loved ones. Maybe even make a quilt out of old scraps of clothes you, your siblings, and your children have worn throughout the years! The idea is to help your parent hold onto the memories that make them happy and feel alive.
With the help of these tips and tricks, your parent will be well on their way to living a happy and active life at their new assisted living home.Share