The move to assisted living can be fraught with challenges and plenty of small—yet significant—details. A solid plan (and the right attitude) can help both caregivers and their loved ones approach the transition with confidence. To make the move easier, consider these steps.
1. Find the Right Community
Many older adults struggle with moving to assisted living because they don’t know what to expect. Finding the right community can be instrumental in easing the transition to a new living environment.
Of course, recognizing the differences between independent living, assisted living, and memory care will also be crucial in making the right decision. Depending on your loved one’s needs, they may require additional support or accommodations in their new home. In this case, you’ll want to entrust your loved one’s care to the skilled and compassionate caregivers at Castle Senior Living.
2. Arrange Finances in Advance
Finances are often a concern for older adults plotting a move to assisted living. Therefore, thinking ahead is a smart exercise. Creating a budget can offer perspective on which expenses are essential, and which can be reduced.
If your loved one is letting go of homeownership to move into a community, finances may be less of a concern. Still, you’ll need to navigate the sales process—and moving timeline—carefully.
Without the proceeds from a property sale to help pad your budget, you may need to explore other financial options for affording residential care. In many cases, life insurance policies, veterans’ benefits, and even tax deductions can lower an individual’s or family’s out-of-pocket costs. Assisted living insurance is another option that may benefit your finances, notes The Nest.
3. Take Your Time with Moving
Dealing with significant changes in life often takes time, and the move to assisted living is no different. If possible, avoid springing the move on your loved one to allow them time to process. A slower transition is less stressful and allows the older adult to feel in control of the situation.
Experts even suggest outlining an assisted living plan months or even years ahead, if possible, notes U.S. News. Finding the right place and making a few visits can also aid the transition. Having a loved one remain on-site immediately after the move can also help ingrain new routines with less stress.
4. Look to the Future
Keeping your sights on moving forward can help ease any of life’s transitions. While the comforts of home can help a loved one settle in, dwelling on the past can also become unhealthy.
The next steps after a move to assisted living should involve planning for a new life. Creating a visitor schedule, participating in activities, and becoming familiar with staff and neighbors are all helpful ways to move forward.
Also, remaining active in your loved one’s life and acknowledging their experiences is a must, notes Reader’s Digest. Learning their new routines and getting to know the staff can help you reach this goal.
5. Remain Involved (But Not Overbearing)
Being supportive and emotionally available is one of the most beneficial ways to support a parent or loved one who is making the move to assisted living. However, you should avoid getting overly involved in your loved one’s life—unless they ask for your help.
Studies show that older adults value their independence, even when living in a care facility. The multidimensional meaning of independence means that in the right conditions, even older adults who require significant support with daily tasks can feel empowered in their new communities.
Developing new routines, building relationships, and adapting to new surroundings are all part of the process your loved one needs to navigate. With time and space to adjust, the older adult in your life can begin to feel at home.
The move to an assisted living community can be challenging. But there are ways to make the transition easier. With these steps, you can support your senior loved one through a difficult transition and enhance their quality of life.