How to Help Your Aging Loved One Adjust to a New Home
When the time comes that your aging loved one can no longer take care of herself in her own home, moving her into a facility will be one option. Whether she’s suffering from dementia or at a high risk of falling at home, moving her into a high quality assisted living facility will help keep her safe and ensure she has the help and support she needs to continue living as independently as possible. Many aging adults of the Baby Boomer generation have lived in the same place for decades, and adjusting to a new home can be difficult. Here are some ways to make the transition easier for your loved one.
Keep Him in the Loop
When you’re searching for a facility for your loved one, engage him in the process. Visit potential homes, and stay a while. Observe the staff and patient interactions, check out the planned activities, and eat the food. Visit more than once so that your loved one has spent some time at the facility before he moves in.
Let Her Choose What to Take With Her
It can be difficult for your loved one to leave certain things behind. Be patient, and let her take her time as she sorts through her belongings. If there are things she’s having trouble parting with that can’t be brought with her, such as a prized hutch or an extensive bric-a-brac collection, try to find a home for it in the family. Otherwise, help your loved one choose how to dispose of these things, whether by donating them to charity, giving them away to a friend, or having a garage sale.
Allow Him to Grieve
Even if your loved one is ready and willing to move, leaving behind his old life “for good” can be difficult. Your instinct may be to dismiss these feelings or focus excessively on the positive things. Instead, let him know that you understand. Be okay with letting him take his time adjusting to his new life.
Make it Home
Help your loved one make her new environment feel like home. Hang her special artwork on the walls, display her favorite things on the shelves, and let her help choose new things for her new place.
Give Him Space
When your loved one moves in, stay in contact, but don’t overdo it. Give your loved one space to explore and acclimate to his new environment, meet new people, and get to know his new neighborhood.
Don’t Give In to Guilt
You may have some caregiver guilt when you move your loved one to a new facility, but try to go easy on yourself. It may take some time, but once she’s acclimated and settled in, chances are, she’ll enjoy living in close proximity to her peers, she’ll get involved in the activities and the outings, and she’ll revel in her newfound freedom from the burdens and risks of living alone in her house.
An assisted living facility can give your loved one a new lease on life, and helping make the transition as easy as possible can help ensure he gets settled in and acclimated in no time.