The decision to move into a senior living facility is a big one. It is life-changing for many and for many it is heart-breaking to move away from a home they have lived in all their lives. A few seniors do look at the move with excitement because it gives them a new sense of freedom. Freedom to enjoy their retirement years without the hassle of everyday responsibilities.
There are a few emotional hurdles that you will need to tackle before their big move
- They might feel abandoned, but you can assure them about the benefits of them living in the senior housing facility and also make them feel more at home when they move
- They might assume that a retirement home means loss of independence. Let them visit the center with you before they move in and interact with other residents to understand how the place actually works. This will certainly reassure them that they are not going to be restricted in their new environment.
- They may not want to adjust to a new routine. Check with the center on their options of routines and meal timings. If something doesn’t suit your elder, then find another place that does. Never force a choice you have made on them.
- They may feel that they won’t make friends. This can be easily resolved if you help them settle in and help them socialize a bit if they are feeling a bit shy.
- They might feel unhappy about having to leave behind or donate so many of their things before they move. Make them part of the process so they feel that it was their decision to keep or throw away any item that has significant memories associated with it.
Once you have crossed the mental barrier hurdle then you can move on the actual process of physically moving their belongings. If you are assisting your elders to move into a senior living community then there are few things that you need to keep in mind.
- Let them visit the senior living facility before they move in as many times as they want
- Help them interact with the staff and the residents
- Walk around with them to help them familiarize themselves with the surroundings
- Allow them to ask as many questions as they want in order to feel more safe and comfortable in their new environment
- Help them decide which of the things they want to take with them, put into storage and discard.
- Encourage them to sign up for the activities and classes in the senior housing facility
- Help them decorate their new home and add all items that would make them feel more at home.
- Visit often during the first few days so as to ensure that they have settled in
- Set a schedule for visits with them and ensure that you do not interfere with their recreational activity plans
- Ask them to volunteer with helping the staff during recreational times and also conducting an activity if they would like to teach other residents.
Make the move as smooth and unhindered as possible. Give them the time they want to gather themselves and their favourite things so that they enjoy their time in the new home and do not see it as troublesome.
It is important to bring a sense of excitement and joy when moving your elders to a senior living facility. You need to help them enjoy their move and their subsequent stay.