Moving into assisted living, whatever the circumstances, is never easy. To leave of a home full of memories, one that has been a source of comfort for a long time, and move into a care facility is a major decision. Even if it has become impossible to live in, the building is more than a house – it’s a home. This is why everything possible should be done to make this transition smooth and easy, from the initial conversation to the move itself.
There’s much you can do to make the transition to assisted living less of a burden for a loved one who needs extra care. It will require compassion, listening, patience, and organization on your part, but it can make a huge life change feel a lot more comfortable.
Make the decision with your loved one
While it might seem obvious to you and your family that an elderly loved one can no longer be on their own, it’s not always obvious to them. Never, ever spring the news on someone out of the blue and force them out of their home. It’s cruel and takes away their agency at a time when they are the most vulnerable. This is why any conversation should start with them and include them throughout.
If you notice an aging friend or loved one is having difficulties at home, approach them gently. Assisted living is designed for their comfort and ease, but any talk of a move can create resistance. Be understanding of these feelings.
Never act without consultation, but ask if you can take on the tougher parts of the transition
Again, you want them to feel a measure of control over the entire process. Choices about the facility, the pack, and the move should all be done directly with the person moving into assisted living. Talk with them about arrangements, ask what you can do, and only help with the packing and moving if asked.
If choices are made that might seem counterproductive, it’s okay to voice opinions and caution. But respect has to be given at every stage; otherwise, the transition will be unpleasant for the person moving into assisted living, beginning this new part of their life on a very sour note.
Respect privacy throughout the process
Be sensitive to privacy concerns. An assisted living facility should and most likely will take these concerns into consideration, but moving from a private home to a building with many other people can be daunting. This is why you and your loved one should see the facility, see the room they’ll get, and, if possible, have a representative of the facility talk with the person moving in. If they can see the space they will have, the freedom to be or not be social, it can make the anticipation for the move easier.
When the move comes, privacy and sensitivity have to be taken into account, too. You don’t want strangers going through your things, regardless of whether they are sensitive or not. Should you go with a moving company to help with the transition, the movers should be able to address any concerns and work with them in mind.
Visit and talk frequently after the move
Assisted living is a big change of scenery, so you have to make it clear that it’s not a big change in the relationship. Even if the move is smooth, it might not still be a welcome change for your loved one. Regular visits will decrease any feelings of alienation that could come with the move, making the assisted living facility a more comfortable place in their mind.
True North makes the transition to assisted living easier to handle, both for the one moving out and the family helping them move. Our team takes extra care, making privacy, sensitivity, and care for items their highest concerns. We also offer senior discounts to lessen the financial burden on you and your loved one, and everything we move is backed by a damage-free guarantee.