Even if your loved one agrees with the move, transitioning to an assisted living can be stressful. Here are ways that you can provide support.
- Acknowledge their feelings of loss- Even if your loved one chose to move to an assisted living they may still feel a sense of loss or grieving. Leaving your home is very stressful, so try to respect their feelings and provide sympathy as they adjust. Do not minimize their feelings or force yourself to be excessively positive.
- Visit and communicate often- Keeping in contact with your loved ones will provide them with assurance that you still care. Whenever you can, include your loved one in family events or other outings. If you live far away, something as simple as a regular phone call can be very helpful.
- Address concerns together- Your loved one will need to adjust after they have moved into an assisted living facility, but you should not assume that all of their complaints are just a part of the transition. Take their concerns seriously and talk about what steps could be taken to resolve any issues. If it appears as though there is no solution for a major problem, look into other facilities where they could move.
- Personalize their living space- Help your loved one consider which of their possessions they should move to their assisted living apartment and help them decorate their new space so it has a homey feel. Let your loved one make these choices rather than getting too involved. You want them to feel comfortable living there after you have gone home.
Additional Dos and Don’ts for Loved Ones
- Help with moving, sorting or packing at the request of your loved one
- Listen and be supportive as they talk about what they needed to leave behind
- Try to be helpful even if you don’t agree with their decision to leave their home
- Call and visit often, particularly in the first few weeks
- Recognize that this is a major change and moving to a new home can be overwhelming
- Be positive. Try to offer patience, support and understanding with a smile whenever possible.
- Make all the decisions regarding sorting, moving or packing
- Focus on yourself. Think about your loved one, not you.
- Criticize your loved one’s decision to move into an assisted living facility
- Make light of the move and changes occurring
- Immediately bring up the subject of selling your loved one’s home
- Make any promises you know you cannot keep
- Be negative