When your parents make the move to a senior living community, they may feel overwhelmed and anxious about all the changes they’re facing.
As their child — and even their advocate – you are the main support system for your parents as they transition into senior living. Here are some tips for being there for them during this time.
As your parent is packing, prioritizing what items to bring and even tackling large changes that could include selling their home, it’s important to remember this is a highly emotional process.
It’s common for seniors to feel like they are losing their “old” life of independence and comfort in exchange for a place where they aren’t able to live the lives they want. So first, it’s important to sympathize with them and help them feel like they are in control. Remember: while this is a big change, it’s also a positive one.
Be patient, listen to their concerns and reassure them. Remind them why they’re moving: To be more independent and to enjoy life more — to meet new friends, be active and to take advantage of all the amenities the community has to offer.
Another tip: Share your excitement for this new adventure your parent is about to embark on. Making plans for fun activities you will do together once they are moved in will give them (and you!) something to look forward to.
SEE ALSO: Pre-Moving Checklist for Seniors
As a general guideline, the first 30 days after moving to a senior living community are often the hardest for seniors. They are in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by people they don’t know and adjusting to a new routine.
During the first few weeks in particular, visit your parents on a frequent basis. This time is often the loneliest for seniors as they are just starting to meet their neighbors, so be there for them — and when you’re not, ensure your parents you’re only a phone call away.
On a personal level, bring them photos and small items that remind them of who they are. Fill their fridge with some of their favorite snacks or get them a special move-in gift that will help them feel comfortable and cared for.
Transitioning into senior living is emotional— but it doesn’t need to be a negative experience. By supporting your parents through each phase of the process, it can be an exciting and happy time for the whole family.
The transition to senior living is a process for many families. Knowing which type of community is best for your loved one is a great place to start. This survey can help as you start on this journey with your family.