When it comes time to move your loved one into an assisted living community, the process can be difficult for the family as well as your loved one. Most of the time it means breaking a routine, packing up keepsakes, and uprooting from a place that has been called home for a significant amount of time. It can be tough, but there are a few things that can make it less stressful for everyone involved. Here are some tips:
- Give Yourself Time: Prepare to spend an ample amount of time on the move. The moving process doesn’t just involve a moving truck and movers. There are many other tasks like packing boxes, organizing, downsizing, unpacking, and more. Further, packing can be an emotional time. Your loved one may come across things that they want to reminisce or talk about with the family. Allow time for this to happen.
- Involve Your Loved One: Make your loved one feel like they are part of the process by involving them with moving plans. Allow them to help organize their things (if they are able), and decide what they want to keep, throw away, or put in storage. This will avoid confusion and stress before, during, and after the move.
- Rehearse the Move: Plan and schedule out the order of events of the move. For example, what rooms do you want to pack up first and how do you want the truck to be organized? Planning ahead will reduce confusion and anxiety on the day of the move.
- Seek the Help of Others: You aren’t alone. Seek advice from other families who have moved their loved ones into assisted living. They are more than likely to have advice and tips for you. Additionally, assisted living coordinators are good resources to talk to, as many families move their loved ones into their communities. By talking to others, it might make you feel better about your upcoming move.
- Make it Home: One of the most difficult things after a move is getting acclimated. Being separated from keepsakes and routines is scary. You can help your family member feel less lonely by bringing photos of the family, a favorite chair, blanket, or other items that make them feel like they are at home.
Moving a parent into an assisted living community isn’t easy. But if your family and caregivers stay positive and create a loving environment, the process will be less stressful and more comfortable for your loved one.