We normally focus on what we’re losing rather than what we’re gaining when confronted with situations we have little control of. It’s especially true, as we get older. This is why it’s no surprise when we find our parents resisting change, which makes it challenging when a big change is needed, like a move into an assisted living facility.
The good news is there’s much you can do to ease the transition. Here are some tips that will bring comfort into their initial assisted living experience:
Help Set Up the Room in Advance
Help set up the room in advance with their favorite pillows, blankets, furniture, and other items special to them. Nothing’s worse than a bare room with no personal references for your parents to hang on to. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what it would feel like to find yourself in this new environment all of a sudden. This will serve as transitional objects and bring some of the home they left behind into the new environment.
Make Your Parents’ Personal Preferences Known to the Staff
The more information the staff knows, the better, including daily routine. Tell them of your parents’ habits, quirks, pet peeves, and what makes them happy. Through this, your parent can also establish a relationship with the staff. A Harvard University Study cites that enhanced social activities may help increase the quality and length of life.
Give the Staff a List of Your Parents’ Favorite Music
Bring CDs and a music player or an iPod loaded with your parent’s favorite tunes. Music helps engage and build instant rapport. It can also calm the anxiety and agitation that often arise during the course of such a big move.
Leave Your Own Anxiety at the Door
Leave your own guilt and anxiety at home. People with memory loss tend to notice others’ emotions easily, and the last thing they need during this time is the added baggage of their family and friends.
Each of these steps can make a big difference on how your parent adjusts to the new living environment. Many seniors end up satisfied with elderly care, like those of assisted living homes in Littleton, as it offers the best of both worlds in providing them the chance to spend time alone and socialize daily.