What To Expect When A Parent Goes To Assisted Living
on September 30th, 2019 in Spirit | No Comments
A Realistic Look at the Move to Assisted Living
Moving a parent into assisted living is a challenging and emotional change. Your parents may grieve the loss of their youth, their independence, and the home they worked to build. They might also be worried about aging, making friends, finding their place in a new environment.
This will have you second-guessing your decision through the whole process. Plus you will feel guilty. All of these feelings are normal and do not last forever. To help ease your mind, here are 10 things you should know about moving a parent to assisted living.
10 Things to Know Before Moving a Parent to Assisted Living
1. It takes time.
It typically takes between three and six months for someone to adjust to an assisted living community. Everyone is different, however. Your parent might be quicker to embrace the change, or it may take them longer. Keeping the big picture in mind (safety, health, security, etc.) will help you through the initial adjustment.
Experts suggest you try to visit as often as possible when your parent first moves to assisted living. Frequent visits can ease any worries they may have about being abandoned or lonely. It also might lend your parent more confidence to make friends if they have a companion with them.
3. Involve the whole family.
Just as raising a child takes a village, so does caring for an aging parent. Involve your family in the transition to assisted living. If you can’t make it to a scheduled visit, ask a relative to fill in and meet the people in your parent’s community.
4. Be ready for setbacks.
Just when everything starts going smoothly, something will throw a wrench in your plans. Your parent will tell you that they are lonely, that they don’t like their new dining hall friends, or that they want to go home. These moments are tough, but know that they are normal and will pass.
5. It will be uncomfortable.
It’s difficult to hear your parent say they want to go home. But keep in mind they may not be referring to their last address, especially if they have dementia. They could be yearning for a childhood home or another point in time. Home is not just a place, but a feeling as well. In these moments, it’s best to simply sit with them in the discomfort and ask them about what they miss.
6. Don’t hide the challenges.
While you want to the move to sound as positive as possible, you shouldn’t ignore or disregard your parent’s concerns. Listen to their fears and acknowledge them. Then support them through the challenges.
Moving to assisted living often means downsizing. There are a few things, however, you should be sure to bring when your parent moves. Photographs of family and friends, favorite books, a longstanding piece of artwork, and favorite blankets or pillows can all help your parent create a familiar space in their new home.
8. Limit new gear.
It may be tempting to fill your parent’s new apartment with fancy new furnishings, but resist introducing too many foreign objects. Moving to assisted living is a huge transition on its own. Don’t also overwhelm them with new gadgets throughout their home.
9. Advocate for your parent.
There is bound to be room for improvement in your parent’s assisted living community. Your parent may hesitate to speak up about their needs in a new place. If this is the case, speak up for them.
10. Set boundaries.
Of course you want to be a good child and help your parent’s transition. But you have your own life to keep running as well. Try to be available as much as you can for the first few months after the move, but keep in mind it’s ok if you can’t always be there. Decide what you are able and willing to do, and stick to it. Other people will try to tell you what to do. Ignore them.
Make the Transition Easy With Dogwood Forest Assisted Living Communities
As a high quality and caring assisted living communities provider, we’re here for you. Offering support when it’s needed most is our passion, so think of us as an extension of your family. Our staff is not only trained to provide the best possible care, but we serve with compassion that will make your loved ones feel right at home. With locations in Dunwoody, Atlanta, Grayson and Acworth, Dogwood Forest is ready to help during your time of need.
Contact us today to learn more about our assisted living communities and services. Call us now at 770-350-7833 to take the next step of your journey.