If you have an elderly parent who is moving into a senior living facility, you may wonder what to expect during those first few days. The transition of moving from a home with all of their belongings to a smaller area can take a toll on your parent, possibly causing distress or depression. There are a few steps you can take to help with the process of starting a new life in an assisted living facility.
Be There Frequently
During the first week or so, do your best to visit your parent as much as possible. Since they are in new surroundings with a bunch of people they are not yet familiar with, life can be overwhelming for them. Having a familiar face around will greatly improve their mood. Let them know when you will be back for another visit so they will have something to look forward to while getting used to their new home.
Deal With Negativity
Be ready to hear some negativity about the facility. This is to be expected as they are getting used to a new place with procedures they are not used to following. After a while, they will adjust to their surroundings and they will have positive things to say. Listen and be encouraging. Redirect the conversation about the meal they had or an activity they had tried to get a positive conversation going.
Bring Personalized Treats
When you go to visit, bring along something you know your parent enjoys, such as a paperback from a favorite author or a candy bar to eat between meals. Bring along pictures of the rest of the family to hang on the wall for them to look at when they start feeling lonely. For a parent that used to have a pet, a stuffed animal could be very meaningful.
Set up an area on the wall where you can place a bulletin board. Put a calendar on the board so your parent will be able to mark off the days until your next visit. Pictures, letters, or other memorabilia can be hung on this board to help decorate the room.
When you go to visit, bring along a list of the monthly activities available in the facility. Talk about the different classes or sessions offered and urge your parent to try one of them. If they offer resistance, visit the facility at a time when an activity you think your parent would enjoy is in session. Ask the facility if you can go with your parent to the activity.
Sit with a group of other seniors and strike up a conversation, including your parent in the process. Helping your parent take that first step in trying an activity can lead to friendships, easing the stresses of being in a new home. If you're currently looking for a senior living facility, visit Crimson Ridge Meadows.