After investing time visiting different communities, getting answers to all your questions, and talking endlessly to everyone involved in the decision-making process, you have now found a community that meets your loved one’s needs.
You still have concerns, however. How will they cope with the transition? Will they be happy? Will they make new friends?
Having worked with thousands of families over the past 20 years, we have come up with a few suggestions to ensure your loved one will be able to comfortably settle into their new home.
Take full advantage of your new home We encourage your loved one to venture out of their apartment to meet other residents and make new friends right away. This is a great way to get comfortable in their new community while getting connected with other residents and staff. Setting up a daily routine, participating in activities both onsite and offsite, as well as exploring their new community to see what they have to offer is a fun way to get comfortable with all that their new home has to offer.
Participation Counts Each community has staff who will provide your loved one with interesting events, activities, and special interest groups that they’ll find inviting to participate in. Encourage your loved one to share their likes and interests with the community so they can help match and plan the right activities for them.
Being Social at Mealtimes Meals are a great time to meet new friends. By encouraging your loved ones to eat in the dining hall, even if they are not hungry, is a wonderful opportunity to connect with their new community. If your loved one is timid when it comes to meeting new people, a staff member can help by introducing them and getting the conversation started. Sharing a meal together is an easy way to start a new friendship.
Visitors are always Welcome Residents should feel at home enough to invite and host friends and family on a regular basis. Introducing family and old friends to their new friends will aid in making the transition that much smoother. Sharing their new home with guests gives them a sense of ownership and independence. If being in a more private setting is important, all communities will offer a private dining room option for families to gather together.
Quality Family Time No matter what type of socializing your loved one is comfortable with, visiting them often will have a huge impact on their satisfaction and overall happiness. Studies have shown that family involvement can be crucial in the overall mental and physical well-being of seniors. So, plan to visit often, explore together, get acquainted with their new friends and enjoy quality time while enjoying the comforts of home and the peace of mind that comes with it.
Communication is Key Communicating with the staff is very important to helping your loved one adjust. Something as simple as preparing a favorite meal, playing their favorite movie in the theater or planning an offsite excursion to somewhere they like to go. Communicate anything that helps them feel more at home.
Overall Health is Important too! Each community has health professionals who will monitor your loved ones physical and mental health closely, but you know your loved one best. If you notice something out of the ordinary, share this information.
Being proactive is key! Making the move to a senior-living community can be a very rewarding and exciting new chapter in your loved ones life. It can also be scary and stressful. Providing them with family support and encouragement can make all the difference in the world!