Deciding to move into an assisted living community can be an important decision and daunting change for those people and their families who make that choice. Your home was built over years within the neighbourhood and community that you chose. Your regular shops are nearby and your fondest memories were made in those rooms.
It is vital to appreciate the significance of moving out of your home. Whether you are downsizing, relocating or adjusting to new physical or mental health needs, your decision to move to an assisted living community should be the hardest part of that transition.
The potential stress and frustration that could occur when underestimating the impact of moving, is the most common mistake made by the families and individuals embarking on this new journey. But, when planned with care and consideration, starting this new chapter could be a seamless transition and exciting new opportunity.
Big changes often induce reluctance, but by making more informed decisions and defining clearer preferences, those changes become more manageable. Thankfully, there are more and better assisted living facilities around today than ever before and they are well-equipped to help you make a smooth transition and welcoming home.
Making a smooth transition
This move is not an individual act and is made much easier with the support of a loving family and help of the community you are about to enter. The tools, care and practices that can be undertaken for the benefit of new residents by them and their families are varied and personal, but unmistakably important.
Here is a list of things to consider and steps to take when moving into an assisted living community, for that future resident and their family support system:
Find a Community Together
As mentioned, finding the right community for you will take careful consideration and a keen eye. It is important that you and your loved ones are all involved in all the decision-making processes. By involving the family, they are afforded peace of mind and feel reassured that you are making the right decision together. The more involved you are in choosing your home, the more confident and comfortable you can feel in your decision.
Make Use of Available Resources
Do not go through the potential struggles of extensive packing, travelling and organising required when moving to a new home. Invest in an experienced moving company or professional organisers who are capable of streamlining the processes of downsizing, decluttering, prioritising or just fitting into the new space.
It Takes Time
A home is not made overnight and settling in can take time. After years of creating cherished memories and curating their perfect home environment, a new space that feels as good will need time and patience. If a loved one is unable to take care of themselves or they are considering a different kind of homeownership: a healthy, safe, accessible, friendly and inviting community can become the home they need and deserve, given the time.
Bring Your Cherished Possessions
Surround yourself with items and possessions that bring you joy and comfort. Consider bringing a favourite lounger or your most inspiring literature – the things that make you feel at home. This may include precious family photos, heirlooms or artwork. Have reminders of the home you and your family have shared, design the space in a way that suits you and help build new memories for all of you.
This is for the children, grandchildren, friends and acquaintances of loved ones who are moving into an assisted living facility. There is the potential to feel isolated and unwanted when anyone relocates from their established home; if those around them do not keep in contact. The strongest predictors of a smooth and happy transition are the maintaining of quality time spent with friends and family as well as integrating into their new social circles.
Making New Friends
Whether you are nine or ninety years old, making new friends can be hard to do. Something that makes it easier for all of us is entering into a new social circle. Like most of our retired population, these new social circles will be filled with an incredible array of life stories, interests and experiences. Eating lunch or playing cards with new friends could have a hugely positive impact on your community experience.
Take Part in Activities
All of the best assisted living facilities provide a wide selection of recreational activities that keep all members of the community engaged, active and social. By joining in on these activities, the previously unfamiliar faces that you see at breakfast or on your morning walk will fast become your teammates, competition, supporters and partners. Try out the different hobbies, arts, exercise and games that are organised regularly for the community.
Don’t Change Everything
Many men and women who are moving into an assisted living community are at a stage in their life where they may be struggling with their mental and physical health or even with residential upkeep. The change is usually a needed one and will benefit the new resident, their family and the community they are joining, tremendously.
However, keeping the size and scope of the changes to a minimum can help make the transition even smoother. Dinner dates with friends, game nights with grandchildren, church on Sunday or monthly family lunches are just as important to maintain as anything else. Adjusting to new surroundings are much easier when you do it with the people you love.
At Manor Retirement, we know how to make you or your loved one’s transition into assisted living as easy and gratifying as possible. For more information about our incredible communities, contact Manor Retirement.