Many of our elderly parents have lived in their homes for many years, if not decades. Their home is a place that holds many cherished memories and sentimental items. Because of this, it is often a difficult task trying to get them to agree to moving into senior living. You will want to ensure the smoothest transition for your aging parents and yourself. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when moving elderly parents to senior living.
1. Be Proactive
As long as it’s not medically necessary, it is important not to push your elderly parents into something that they do not want to do, especially something as big a change as moving into senior living. They should still feel that they are in control of their life and you are not making decisions for them.
At the same time, have conversations early and before a crisis occurs, thus making it necessary for them to move. Wait for an opportunity to plant the seed in their minds that there are options that would make life easier on them. Use events, such as falling, as an opportunity to suggest moving to a place with people around to help if something like that should happen again, while expressing that that would mean peace of mind for everyone.
2. Tour Facilities
Many seniors have an easier transition to a senior living community if they remain in the same community as the home they are leaving. This allows them to keep their same doctors and other familiar aspects of the community that they know and love.
In the search to find the right senior living community for your elderly parents, it is important to do your research on the ones nearby. If you are able to, tour the facility with your parents to point out the benefits of living there. Emphasize the privacy, safety measures, and benefits of no maintenance. Taking them to tour a facility will also help to familiarize your parents with the facility and apartment size. This then will help them see how much furniture, décor, etc. they will be able to bring with them. Here are even more tips on choosing the right independent living home.
Moving elderly parents to a senior living community can be a stressful situation for all involved, physically and emotionally. Enlist the help of relatives to lessen the task on each person of helping your parents go through, organize, and move their things into their new home.
Make sure you are not going through and deciding which items to keep or throw away without your parents. Some items may have a sentimental attachment in which you are unaware. Help them by carefully considering which items to take with them. Start getting rid of the items that do not hold an emotional connection for them. This will help them get used to the idea of getting rid of things, before they have to choose between things that are more difficult to part with. For some people, it is helpful to sort their belongings into different categories such as “hold on to”, “give to family member(s)”, “storage”, “sell”, and “donate”. Knowing certain items are staying within the family or helping someone in need will make the process of downsizing easier.
Once your parents have moved into their new home, it is important for you to show them that they are still cared for and make sure they do not feel that they have been abandoned. Visit them frequently, especially in their first few weeks in senior living. Doing so will ease their stress and make them feel that they are still connected to the world around them and involved in their family’s lives, despite the move. Showing your support by visiting frequently may also help your parents become more social with their new neighbors. Having a family member to show around and get acquainted with the other residents in the community can be beneficial.
If you’re currently or thinking about moving elderly parents to senior living, learn more about our senior care options at The GreenFields Continuing Care Community. You can contact us at (716) 684-8400.
About The GreenFields Continuing Care Community
The GreenFields Continuing Care Community provides for the physical, social, and spiritual needs of residents in a Christian environment. In addition to skilled nursing, subacute rehabilitation, and outpatient therapy at GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center, The GreenFields offers a variety of living arrangements and support levels based on individual needs. This includes independent living apartments in GreenField Manor; assisted living apartments in GreenField Court; and memory care and enhanced assisted living in GreenField Terrace. Residents at The GreenFields also receive priority access to all other levels on The GreenFields campus.