By Elise Morgan
Moving your parents into a senior living home can be difficult as this is a moment in your parents’ life where they must face the inevitable question of whether they are capable of managing their day-to-day on their own. Their life to this point has been of independence or others depending on them. The loss of both of these can be difficult. Though, at the same time, there is much to look forward to when moving into a senior living home.
Here are five ways to help ease your parents into this new life-transition and ease their minds as you do so.
Make Their New Living Situation Feel Like Home
One of the most difficult things about a senior living home is that it doesn’t “feel” like home. The apartments or dorm-style rooms are often more industrial than home-like. So, it can help if you add some of your parent’s personality to the living space such as family photographs, familiar smells (scented candles, room fresheners, etc.) and even their favorite furniture such as their old armchair, or a memorable rug. You don’t need to emulate their prior home but adding familiarity can add to warmth and help them sleep soundly at night.
Involve the Entire Family
Often, participation by all siblings and relatives can be lacking. This leaves the impression that the decision to move into a senior living home is not shared by all involved members. That’s not the best feeling for parents who may be uncertain about their transition. So, trying to involve all family members in some way can ease feelings of insecurity. Family members can be involved in physically moving, participating in community events, or even regular phone calls to check in are helpful.
Focus on the Good
Senior living homes can feel daunting and often congested. After all, your parents are moving from their own space to a shared living community. Though, this also means that your parents have less stress such as not having to worry about home repairs, preparing meals, taking care of the lawn, security is higher and social activities are frequent.
Encourage Your Parents to Participate in Community Activities
Participation is key to moving into a senior living home. One of the reasons is that socially, your parents can see that they are not going through the move alone. Every person living in the senior living home has gone through the same, or a similar, transition. Activities such as animal rescue services can provide a sense of meaning, introduce your parents to new activities, create a new lifestyle and build friendships.
Help Maintain Your Parent’s Independence
A loss of independence can be the hardest part of moving into a senior living home. After all, your parents have likely been taking care of themselves and others for over fifty years. Helping your parents to understand that they are not losing their identity, but rather opening up time to pursue their hobbies and passions is an important process to maintaining independence. A senior living home promotes a safe place with more opportunity to connect with other like-minded people. Your parents may have better access to transportation, interesting travel and other opportunities that may either have not been available or too costly when on their own.
The transition from independent living to senior home living can be difficult but understanding the benefits of senior home living and working with your parents can make the move a bit easier.
Guest post by Elise Morgan. Follow her on her Twitter Account @elisemthewriter