How to Make Your Loved One Feel at Home in Assisted Living
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
Making the move to an assisted living home is a big change that will take some getting used to. For many seniors, it's a decision that can feel thrust upon them, rather than a choice they've made on their own. While your loved one may not automatically love their new home, there are steps you can take to help them with getting used to the change. Know that the first few months will be the hardest. You should expect the process of settling in to be the most difficult transition, but also bear in mind that a lot of the initial discomfort will likely be temporary. With the help of family and friends, the assisted living home's staff, and making friends with other residents, your loved one will become more comfortable in their new environment and it will start to feel like home.
Here are some tips to help ease your loved one into an assisted living facility.
Find the best fit when choosing an assisted living home.
Seek out an assisted living home that’s right for your loved one and their needs. Do your research. How much medical attention do they need day to day? Is a larger facility more appropriate, or a smaller, privately owned assisted living home? Read the reviews to find out what other residents and their families think of the home and the caregivers. Take your loved one to visit the homes together, to give them a better feel for the place and give them an opportunity to let you know what they think of it before a final decision is made.
Help them make their new room feel familiar.
If the room they live in feels generic, it won't feel like home. Decorate their new space with photos of loved ones and decor they had in their previous home. Filling the unfamiliar space with familiar and sentimental items will make their new room feel more comfortable and homey. Add as many personal touches to the room as you can to make your loved one feel like they are truly at home.
Make sure they can participate in activities they enjoy.
Your loved one's social life and personal hobbies don't have to stop when they move into assisted living.
In fact, if they didn’t already have activities they participated in, try to help them find something to keep them active after the move. Keeping a social circle and having a reason to leave the assisted living home from time to time will be good for them.
Visit them often.
Don’t disappear after the move - come to visit your loved one often. They won't feel at home in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar peers. Visits from family and friends is the best way to help your loved one feel more comfortable and at ease in their new home. Being visited often by the people they love will help them understand that moving to an assisted living space is a necessity for their health care and wellbeing, but that doesn't have to change how often they can see their friends and family.
Encourage them to become a part of the community.
Encourage your loved one to socialize with the other residents. Meeting their peers who are close in age and in the same setting gives them an opportunity to bond with others who can empathize with the transition into assisted living. Socializing and making friends will help your loved one adjust to their new home.
Remember that these changes won't happen overnight. Give your loved one time to adjust; it's a big change! The first few weeks or months can be rough, but they will eventually come to see the assisted living facility as home.
The Galway Homes is a private assisted living home. Families are comforted knowing their loved one is receiving compassionate care by our caregivers at a 2:7 ratio. Caregivers specialize in geriatric and palliative care, focusing more broadly on improving life and providing comfort, at any stage.
Call us with any questions, or to arrange a tour: (913) 676-7277
Source: Senior Advisor