Helping Seniors Adjust to a New Living Environment
As we are all creatures of habit, moving into a new living environment can be a huge stressor on our loved ones. Here are a few tips to help ease into this transition and even find the excitement it will bring:
Visit the Community Before Moving in
Just like choosing a college, showing your loved one around the campus prior to making the decision and moving into their new home can help put everyone at ease. This baseline familiarity will reduce uncertainty as to where things are located and how to best navigate the community.
Surround Your Loved One with Personal Belongings
Often times residents are limited to a few items, so go through your loved one’s most prized possessions for their new home. Choose items that have happy memories associated with them, and items that will help make your loved one even more comfortable in their new setting.
Befriend the Staff
Explain your concerns about your loved one’s medical conditions or social skills to staff members. Once the staff understands your loved one’s needs, they can better care for their physical and mental health.
Schedule Regular Visits
Keep a schedule and stick to it! This can help your loved one adjust to this major lifestyle change and by visiting regularly, they have something to look forward to. In addition to visits, consider sending your loved one cards or letters, or even a care package to let them know you’re thinking of them!
Encourage Life Within the Facility
Although outside friends, family, and habits help maintain balance and structure, encourage your loved one to appreciate all of the programs and activities within the facility. Taking advantage of new opportunities can spark new passions and experiences that your loved one may have never thought they would uncover.