Transitioning to assisted living is not an easy task. It can bring up feelings of resentment and abandonment, not to mention adjusting to life in a different place at an advanced age. If your parent is on this path, then here are some things that you can do to help make the change smoother:
Involve them in the process
Getting your parents involved in the process of assisted living will make them feel that they’re still in control. Let them help you with touring and researching the places and facilities. If you’re in Davis County, there are many retirement communities in Layton and other areas that you can look into.
Let your parents make decisions. They can choose the place they like best and know all about the facilities before even moving in, helping them build the proper mindset. This will help them feel less like it’s confinement and more as a move to another living space.
As children, we want what’s best for our parents. They must know this when opening up about the subject of assisted living. It won’t be an easy conversation to have, but it’s something that you must shoulder.
One important thing to consider is the timing of the talk. Make sure that your parent is relaxed and comfortable with the surroundings. You can time it with a visit or bonding moment with your parents. Also, make sure to use the “I” perspective instead of the “you.” For example, say, “I’m concerned with your safety and welfare,” instead of “You can’t take care of yourself anymore.”
Be understanding and open, and make sure to let your parents know that you think assisted living is what’s best for them.
Help your parent pack
One of the most challenging things about moving for your parents is having to leave certain things behind, including the place where they spent many years. This is why it’s essential to help your parents downsize their things and pack up the ones that will be needed in the move.
You will also need to help them decide which ones to let go or leave behind. This can be a very distressing process for your parents, so make sure to empathize and keep them focused on the goal.
After the move, your parents will experience a difficult adjustment period. One of the things that have been proven to help during this time is to make the room as close to home as possible.
Try to mimic the arrangement of your parents’ bedroom, including the placement of certain things and even the color and décor of the room. This will make them feel less like a stranger in the room and encourage a feeling of being “home away from home.”
Inquire ahead of time about the activities that your parents can participate in during the first few weeks. You can ask about mentorship programs and other social activities that can help keep your parents’ minds off their worries and feelings of being an outsider.
Keep in touch
Among the terrifying prospects of assisted care for your parents is the prospect of being left alone. It’s essential to keep in touch with them and listen carefully every time you have a conversation during a visit or phone call.
You need to make your parents feel that they are still an essential part of your life and that they have not been forgotten in the assisted home.
Going into an assisted care facility is an awkward stage in life. It’s vital to foster an air of understanding and openness between you and your parents during this time. Make sure that your parents can settle in comfortably with these tips.