Transitioning from independent living to a care home can be challenging. Seniors may feel frustrated that they’re unable to care for themselves, they have to part ways with many belongings and adjusting to a new environment may cause anxiety.
On the other hand, moving into a senior home can be exciting. Elderly people have the opportunity to build new friendships, receive high quality care and live low-maintenance lifestyles.
Whether your parent is resisting or embracing the move, here are some important tips for ensuring a successful transition to a care home.
It’s crucial to involve your parent in the decision making process when searching for a suitable senior home. Explain the services provided at each location, take them on tours to view facilities and encourage them to share feedback. Involving your loved one will help them feel in control of their next step in life. Additionally, choosing the most appropriate home will make it easier to settle in, reducing potentially adverse health effects caused by stress.
Helping your parent mentally and emotionally prepare will undoubtedly make the transition more successful. You should:
- Reiterate why it’s best for your loved one’s health and well-being to move into a care home
- Explain the application process, services they’ll receive and scheduled move-in date
- Communicate the benefits of their new lifestyle
- Maintain a positive attitude to help minimize potential anxiety
Finally, if possible, slowly start packing belongings well in advance of the move-in date. Allow your parent to make decisions about what should be taken to the care home, stored, given away and sold. It may be a difficult process, but it’ll allow time for your loved one to think about his/her most important possessions, as well as internalize the upcoming lifestyle shift.
During Move In
Move-in day has arrived and it’s time for a fresh start. First and foremost, help your parent unpack their belongings and organize their new room as closely as possible to previous living arrangements. Here are some helpful suggestions:
- Incorporate your parent’s favourite furniture, such as a rocking chair, shelf or lamp
- Bring items your loved one has made or collected, such as blankets and books
- Place treasured family photos and paintings around the room
Familiar, cherished items will create feelings of comfort, ultimately easing the transition.
Once your parent is happy with the decor and layout of their personal space, ask staff members to introduce themselves and provide a tour of the home. Then ask a caregiver to introduce your loved one to the other residents.
Post Move In
Once your parent has settled into a private senior home, it’s important to visit often, especially in the first few months. Your loved one needs to know he/she has a support network and hasn’t been abandoned. Try visiting at least once per week, or as often as your schedule allows, to spend quality time together and hear about your parent’s new lifestyle.
Also, encourage your parent to contact you if they ever need to talk or have a serious issue. They need to know you’re there for them.
Finally, get your parent involved in meaningful activities. Encourage participation in resident game nights, group exercises and other opportunities to socialize. You can even take your loved one on day trips, as a change of pace will keep spirits high.
Looking for more information about transitioning from home to care home? We’re happy to answer any questions you have. Call or email us at your convenience to have a confidential chat.
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