How to Help Your Parent Adjust to a Senior Living Community
10 helpful tips from the experts.
Remember your first move into a place of your own? Whether you were excited, hopeful, or nervous (or all of the above), there likely was an adjustment period as you got to know your new surroundings and adapted to new routines.
The same is true for a senior moving to a senior living community. There is so much new information to take in about their new home, from menus and programs to getting to know the neighbors and staff.
Families and caregivers want the process to be as easy and stress-free for their loved one as possible. As moving day approaches, many caregivers will wonder: how do I help my parent adjust to a senior living community?
Knowing what to expect helps. Read on for ten tips to help you help your loved one adjust to life in a senior living community.
10 Tips to Help Your Loved One Adjust to Senior Living
Just like any move, the move to a senior living community has an adjustment period. A few ups and downs are normal along the way.
Here are ten ways you can help your loved one get comfortable in their new community:
- Have realistic expectations (for your loved one). Some seniors will dive into new activities and friendships right away, while others thrive with a “slow and steady” approach. Remember that everyone moves at their own pace.
- Have realistic expectations (for yourself, too). Even the most devoted and clear-minded caregiver may wonder if they are doing what is best for their loved one. Conflicting feelings are normal. Give yourself time to adjust, too.
- Reduce uncertainty. Reducing feelings of fear or uncertainty about the unknown can go a long way toward a peaceful move for your loved one. Share with them what will be the same about their lives, what will be different, and how often you will visit and call.
- Personalize their new space. Help make your parent’s new home feel like home from day one by personalizing the space with meaningful items. From family photos to a favorite comfy chair, prioritize items that say “home” to them. And, you don’t have to do it alone – here at Sunnyside Manor, our staff are available to hang pictures, move furniture, and help with the details that make each apartment “just right.”
- Make it easy to continue activities and routines that matter. What helps your loved one feel like themselves? Whether that is a fulfilling hobby or the evening snack they look forward to each day, support them by making it easy. Remind them of opportunities on the community calendar and provide them with what they need – that knitting basket or those cookies they love – close at hand in their apartment, too.
- Listen and practice empathy. Some emotional ups and downs during a move are normal. Your parent may have challenging feelings about their independence or their role in the family. Let them talk freely and remind them how much you value them.
- Stay in touch regularly. For some seniors, more frequent calls and visits are helpful in the first few weeks. Others may do better with more space. As you find what works best for you and your loved one, communicate when you will call and visit so they know what to expect.
- Let your loved one host you in their new home! As your loved one adjusts, get to know their new home and new routines.
- Get to know the staff. Senior living staff play an important supporting role in your loved one’s life in a senior living community. Get to know us! We’re here to help your loved one maximize their independence and enjoy all that their new community has to offer. As a family owned and operated community, we understand and honor the trust placed in us. Our staff are here to answer questions, hear concerns, and offer our expertise to help your family and your loved one make the most of their new home.
- Let go. Do your best to give encouragement, while remembering that your parent is an adult with their own ideas, preferences, and priorities. They will find their way. A senior living community is a supportive environment of peers and trained staff encouraging them, too, with help always just around the corner.
Whether you’re just beginning the process of researching senior living or planning for moving day, our family is here with you every step of the way. Get in touch with one of our experts to learn more about making the move to senior living.
Learn More About Why Families Rely On Sunnyside Manor
When it is time to make decisions about senior living, we are here to help. Sunnyside Manor offers assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Learn more about Sunnyside Manor’s resources for caregivers. Whether you’re looking for short-term support or a longer-term plan, begin with our “Getting Started” guide. Please call us at 888-696-2052 to speak with a senior living expert.
Sunnyside Manor, located in Wall NJ, is the area’s premier senior living community. It features three distinctive neighborhoods: Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted Living, Recollections Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.