Change isn’t easy, especially when it’s time for you to transition your loved one from their home to assisted living.
Moving to assisted living is emotional, even if your loved one agrees with the move. They may mourn the loss of their beloved home, of their past, of their independence. They may feel nervous about moving to a new place, making new friends, finding a new routine, or just getting older.
You can ease the transition by taking your time, planning ahead, keeping communication open, and making them feel comfortable.
Prepare for the Move
The first step will be to have a somewhat difficult conversation about moving. Listen to their thoughts and concerns. Offer them choices and allow them to make decisions so they have a sense of control of the situation.
Before the move, you and your loved one should be able to visit the new place, hopefully, more than once, to help ease the transition and get an idea of what you’ll need there. Enlist other family members to help with the downsizing process to make it a family affair.
Remember to take your time. Ideally, you all should have several months to prepare mentally, emotionally, and physically for the move.
Full-service movers will do all the hard work of loading, hauling, and unloading, but this is also going to be the most expensive option.
With self-service movers, you load and they haul. The DIY option is the least expensive, where you rent a moving truck and do it all yourself. Your budget and your resources (like how many friends and family members you have that’ll work for pizza) will help you determine the best option for you.
Moving the “stuff” is important, but the most important piece is moving your loved one. You want to make sure they’re comfortable for the trip, especially if it’s a long one. If the new home is far from their current one, consider flying them to their new destination while their belongings are hauled by truck.
In the new place, make it feel homey right away by putting familiar things all around. Memorable pictures and sentimental knick-knacks will bring back happy memories.
After the Move
After your loved one is in their new home, you and other family members can help them adjust. Check in on them frequently to show your care and support. Visit if you can, call if you can’t.
However, you also need to give them time to adjust independently, which may take a few months. If you visit too often, they won’t have time to make new friends and get involved in their new community.
You may feel guilty about moving your loved one to assisted living, especially during the transition period. Please don’t. Remember why your family made this decision. While the change may be difficult at first, it is the best choice for your loved one’s health, safety, and well-being.
This transition can feel overwhelming for the whole family, but you don’t have to do it alone. As your senior living advocate, I can help you determine your loved one’s needs and provide you with options and resources so your family can make the best decision for everyone. Please contact me if you have any questions.