How to Transition into Assisted Living with Ease
As our parents age, their lifestyle changes. Many go from visiting and vacationing with friends and family to slowing down a bit and taking closer trips. Sometimes they suffer a fall or illness that can cause them to also slow down and maybe need a little more care. What do you do? How do you have the discussion that maybe your mom or dad should consider Assisted Living?
Determining that it is time for Assisted Living Care is just the beginning of a series of decisions and changes. Sometimes in aging adults, this is the most difficult decision they face. It is not only difficult for your parents, but you. How do you help make the transition to Assisted Living easier? Below are six steps to get the process moving forward to help your aging parents or loved one move to Assisted Living with a little more ease.
6 Steps to Help You Transition your Loved One to Assisted Living
Take Time to Select the Right Community-- Once you have crossed the threshold decision to move your parents to Assisted Living, you now need to buckle down and look at communities that could fit their needs and yours. You want a community that meets their social, living, and healthcare needs, and it has a friendly and inviting staff. Also, you want to make sure that is a doable distance for you to visit your loved ones at a frequency that works for you and your family.
There are many factors that are important to examine such as floor plans, nursing staff, and food selection. Do they have a place for mom or dad to exercise or can they leave and go to the library or theater? These are a few things you need to think about. Also remember all communities are different and you want a place that feels like home to mom or dad.
Navigate the cost of Assisted Living-- Once you have selected the perfect place or two, you need to consider the cost. Does the rate cover all the care you require for your loved one, or does it vary based on levels of care. If the price is tiered, are you comfortable with the level of care costs as your aging parents might require more assistance or help as they get older.
Plan a Tour of the Facility-- You should schedule a tour with your parents and let them talk with other residents and see what they think of the community. Also you can go when they host a social event and even partake in one of their dinners. This will help you decide what you really think of the place. Finally, it is good to schedule your tour in advance, so they can do some planning and help you get the full picture of what they offer. Don’t forget that some facilities, due to COVID-19, will only do a virtual tour. If that is the case, jump online with your parents and see the community the best you can, and then see if you can visit a room or two in your final decision. The bottomline is for mom or dad to be happy in their new place.
Select Essentials to go with Mom or Dad--This can be difficult but sometimes the community will have packing services to help you. Take advantage if they do! Do not get completely overwhelmed, take the process in steps. Start with the essentials first like toiletries, medications, bedding, and clothing. Then move on to furniture items and memorabilia items like scrapbooks, art, or books. This gets hard when something just will not fit in their new living arrangements. See if mom or dad are comfortable giving those select items to a family member. Most times our parents are happy if someone they love has some of their furniture, books or art to keep it in the family, and they can see it when they visit for holidays or other occasions.
Give adequate time to Emotionally Grasp the Transition--This is not an easy transition for many seniors. However, if you are patient it should transition well. You need to give your parents or aging loved one time to wrap their head around how things will be different. Let them talk through it with friends, family and others that are important people in their lives. Usually the space to talk through it allows everyone to get adjusted and prepared for the new normal way of living. Also, make it positive and don’t over promise.
Get the New Space Set Up--The day has arrived and now you can set up the new space to make your loved one feel like they are home. This is so important since it is now their new home. Set up things in a familiar and pleasing fashion that makes them feel comfortable and in a safe loving living arrangement.
Once mom or dad are physically at their new community, make sure to set up a visitation schedule that allows them to stay connected with family and friends. As we all know, once COVID-19 hit, many people felt lonely. At Continuing Healthcare Solutions, we have created many ways for families to visit their loved ones. For example, we have a Visitation Station and events to keep our residents involved and loved like family. Need more information on transitioning to Assisted Living? Call us today at Continuing Healthcare Solutions at 216.772.1105, and we will gladly assist you so your parents have the best care in their new living arrangements.