Monmouth County's Ask the Doctor Winter 2021
Ways to Help Your Loved One Transition to Assisted Living
Is your loved one getting ready to move into an assisted living community? That can be a difficult time emotionally, both, for the senior and the family members. How can you help make it easier for your parent or relative so that they actually look forward to
the transition into their new home? Here are some useful tips:
A S W E A G E
Make the new room a familiar setting: We all have our favorite items that remind us of home. Walking into a bare room could make your loved one take an instant dislike to their new home in the assisted living community. Make sure you prepare the room ahead of time to make it seem as much like home as possible. Help staff deliver more personalized care: Take the time to share your loved one’s likes and dislikes as well as routine with the staff at the assisted living community. Having this knowledge ahead of time will allow staff to deliver better, more personalized care and help your senior settle in comfortably. Work ahead of time with staff on an emotional care plan: Your loved one is likely to experience anxiety and a waning sense of self-esteem when moving into an assisted living community. Trained staff is good at managing those emotional needs but they need to be made aware of your senior’s specific needs, so do this before you move your loved one into their new home. A well-thought out plan will work nicely towards helping seniors adapt to the new environment and establish their sense of identity. Create a communications calendar: Your loved one may or may not ask the question, but you can be sure they are wonder- ing how often they will see you and other family members, how often you will call them, if and when can they visit you, and so on. Come up with a calendar and display it where they can see it easily. Don’t show your own anxiety: It’s easy for your loved one’s anxiety to become more intense when they sense that you are anxious too. Even though it is not rational, it is normal to feel somewhat guilty when leaving your loved one for the first time. Remember, you felt like that on your child’s first day at kindergarten too! Know that you are doing the right thing and exit with an energetic, enthusiastic smile that will make your loved one feel more relaxed.
ASK THE DOCTOR
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