Assisted living facilities can become a great and supportive home for a senior, but the initial transition can sometimes be difficult. Here are some ways to soothe a loved one who is adjusting to a new assisted living situation.
Make Room for Old Routines
One thing that can help ease the transition is to help your loved one keep some of the routines they had back home. For instance, if they really loved to read a certain newspaper every morning, see if you can have the nursing staff deliver the paper to them on a daily basis. This can create more stability for your loved one in a time of transition.
Get Excited about New Routines
At the same time, your new assisted living facility is a great opportunity to try new things and get excited about a new routine. The initial adjustment period is a great time to thoroughly explore the new facility, sign up for several new activities to try, and help your loved one get excited about meeting new friends and neighbors. Your facility's coordinator may be able to help make introductions and escort your loved one to new activities so that they have an easier transition.
Some families may inadvertently hurt their elderly family members by neglecting to ask for honest feedback about the new living situation. If your loved one doesn't have anyone to vent to about their new living situation, this can cause a lot more resentment and keep them from accepting the new situation. Be sure to solicit their honest feedback, while also gently pointing out the positives of the new living situation.
Show Your Love
Another thing that can really help to ease the transition is knowing that the family is going to be around to support the person during this adjustment. Although you may not be able to visit every single day, visit as often as you can during the early transition; it can be very helpful, when everything else is new, to have a familiar face around. You can also show your love by sending regular care packages containing familiar items that your loved one enjoys.
In short, moving into a senior living facility does take a bit of adjustment, but with a bit of extra care the transition can go more smoothly. Make sure that you're tuned into what your loved one is feeling about their new home so that you can find little ways to make the transition easier.