Moving to an Assisted Living Facility represents a tremendous upheaval and change in a senior’s life and this can understandably make the person very unsure and perhaps even worried about how they will fare in their new surroundings.
Getting an idea of what to expect during the transitional phase can help to make the process easier to handle and there are also things you can do to help speed up the settling in period.
The most unsettling aspect of a move is the fact that they are facing completely new surroundings and are moving away from their established home set up. It is always a good idea to suggest bringing some of their own furniture and other items that they are familiar with. Also bring along plenty of pictures and memorabilia that they can relate to and make them feel as comfortable as possible in their new surroundings.
It is quite normal to expect your loved one to be agitated or even angry for the first few weeks after they move in, and you should also expect the possibility that they may even exhibit confusion as well. Change is difficult for most of us and these feelings are part of the transition process, so you should expect a turbulent first couple of weeks as this is quite a normal reaction.
A common mistake that many caregivers make is to avoid visiting for the first few weeks in the belief that this will help them to get used to their new surroundings and learn to settle in on their own. It is much better to make regular but very brief visits, staying for probably no more than 20 minutes at a time for the first few weeks. Just showing that you are still very much around for them and checking on their welfare during these brief calls will greatly help with the transition, but be strict with the time you spend visiting during the settling in process, as any longer could increase their level of agitation.
A very common scenario that staff at assisted living centers see all the time is the heartbreak at witnessing someone asking to go home when their family visit them during the first few weeks. This is a very emotional situation and it is natural for everyone involved to get upset, but this period will soon pass, you just have to be prepared to leave and come back again in the next few days in order to offer reassurance that they are not being forgotten or abandoned in any way at all.
Make visiting fun
It is always a good idea to plan something to do each time that you visit. Even some simple activities like doing their nails, reading a book or magazine with them or just going for a snack and a drink will make visiting more fun for both parties.
An important aspect in ensuring that your loved well settles in well and is as happy as possible in their new surroundings is to maintain a good level of communication with the staff at the center. Never be afraid to pick up the phone and call to check how things are going or see if there is anything you can bring on your next visit.
Change in our lives can often be difficult to handle and in many ways this can be harder to deal with as you get older. Planning ahead and knowing what to expect will help the transition process go as smoothly as possible, allowing life to go on in their new surroundings.
Leonardo is a nurse in an assisted living home. He shares his advice on senior blogs to help make their new life a little bit easier. Visit the http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/find-assisted-living/ link to learn more about assisted living homes.
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