How to Help Your Parent Seamlessly Settle Into an Assisted Living Facility
When you’re growing up, it’s hard to imagine your parents getting old and one day possibly requiring care. It’s a process that can sneak up on you, and suddenly before you know it they are no longer able to safely and comfortably live on their own. Assisted living facilities can be a great option for seniors who are at this point, where they still want a level of independence but with some of the daily responsibilities and tasks off their shoulders. The level of assistance they require will depend on their health.
Knowing it’s time for them to move to an assisted living facility and then doing so in a seamless manner are two different things. Because you want the process to be as smooth as possible, there are some helpful tips you can use. Let’s take a closer look at how you can help your parent to settle into their assisted living facility seamlessly.
1Talk About the Plans Well Before They Move
Most people don’t like surprises sprung on them and when it comes to moving your parent to an assisted living facility, the earlier you can be open and talk about it, the better for everyone. Start having the conversations when the first warning signs appear. Be open and honest with each other and be sure you don’t frame this move in a negative manner. It is about keeping your parent safe, comfortable, and cared for.
2Tour The Facilities Together
If possible, you want to involve your parent in the process of choosing the ideal assisted living facility. Have them join you on a tour so they can get a feel for the place, the staff, the residents, and ask any questions they may have. This can help them to feel much more comfortable in their decision.
3What Does the Facility Offer in Care and Amenities?
One of the most important things for you to ask is what the assisted facility offers in terms of care and amenities. This is what sets one place apart from another and you want to be sure they have the kind of care that will be adequate for your parent right now, and in the future should their health decline. Check out Belmont Village, which offers senior care near Berkeley, CA as an example of the kind of amenities and care available.
What kind of programs, amenities, support, and care should you look for? Here are a few things you’ll want to ask about:
- Is there a nurse on-site and if so, are they available 24/7?
- What kind of therapy services are available on-site?
- Do you need to sign a contract for how long your parent will stay?
- What kind of daily assistance is offered?
- Do the staff take over medication management?
- What sort of recreational activities are offered to residents?
- Is there a fitness program or class?
- What are the dining options (in-room, a dining room, or both)
- What social activities are offered?
- Are housekeeping services included?
- Is the property pet-friendly?
- What is the visitor policy like?
- Will your parent have access to Wi-Fi?
- What are the grounds, the outdoor space?
The more information you can gather the better, then you will be able to make an informed decision.
4Does the Facility Fit In Your Budget?
While you don’t want the budget to be the only deciding factor, the fact is that most seniors are on a fixed income so the budget will play a role in the decision-making process. Be sure to get a quote early on in the process and get specifics on what the quote includes.
5Help Them to Declutter and Pack
If your parent is giving up sizeable living space to move to an assisted living facility, it’s going to be a pretty shocking exercise in downsizing. They will likely need help packing and decluttering, which can be physically and emotionally exhausting for them. Make sure you don’t rush the process, as they need time to get used to this big life change that is about to happen.
It’s recommended that you speak to the facility about what they should and can bring with them to their unit, as not every facility is the same.
Ideally, you want to set up their unit so it feels as comfortable and personal as possible. This can be achieved through hanging photos and artwork that is special to them, a few of their furniture pieces, comfortable bedding, and other personal items.
6Be There On the Day They Move-In
Moving day will be a big day that can be filled with excitement, nerves, and stress. Being there with them to walk them through the process will make a huge difference and help to alleviate that stress. To ensure you don’t forget any important questions or details, make a list of items you want to help them with or ask about before you leave that day.
7Acknowledge Their Feelings
This is also a time where you need to be understanding and acknowledge their feelings – both positive and negative. Even if they know this is the best move for them, there is still bound to be some sadness. They are closing a chapter and that is an emotional thing to go through.
8Make Plans to Visit Often
The final tip is to make sure they don’t feel alone in their new surroundings. They will need time to settle in and make friends, so be sure to phone and visit them as often as possible. Even if you can’t visit in person as much as you’d like, a phone call or video chat can make a huge difference. Checking in on them will make them feel more comfortable and at ease, and it also gives you a chance to gauge how things are going.
9The Process Can be Smooth and Positive
By using each of these tips and being patient with what your parent may be going through, you can ensure that the process will be smooth and positive in the long run.