If your parents have themselves decided it is time for them to move to an assisted living facility, then you and your parents will be experiencing a high level of intense emotions and feel uncertain about the days and months ahead.
Here is some helpful and informative advice when considering moving your parents into an assisted living community.
Make the Moving Day Positive
On the actual day of your parents moving to assisted living facilities, your parents will naturally be experiencing a roller coaster of feelings, and the most important role you have is to reassure your parents and be as positive as possible to make the transition as easy as it can be given the circumstances.
Make the day a real event and promote the exciting benefits they are about to experience, as well as the luxury of having general maintenance of their new apartment and outdoor spaces taken care of for them. Pack a bottle of champagne and some nibbles and toast to their new adventure together in their old house before you close the door and drive them to their new adventure. Pack an overnight bag containing your parents most important, necessary, and sentimental possessions to ease the transition of the first night of sleeping in their new home together.
Additionally, it would be incredibly pertinent to ask your parents how involved they would both like to be with the move itself prior to the moving day itself. Ensure you follow their lead and let them dictate their movements during the day; if they would prefer to be ‘hands on’ and manually help with the lifting and packing, allow them, or if they would prefer to sit down and watch over the unfolding activities, which is perfectly acceptable too.
What If One of Your Parents Change Their Mind?
Ideally, once your parents have made their decision to move to an assisted living community, with your help, support, and positive guidance, they will be safe and secure in their decision. If, however, one or both of your parents change their mind in any stage of the planning or moving process, it is vitally important to treat this resistance with the utmost respect. Furthermore, however tempting it might be to tell yourself that ‘they’ll be happy once they get there’, it is crucial to treat your parents as adults, regardless of the stage and progression of their illness.
You should spend time and be patient as you listen to the reasons they give for changing their mind about moving to an assisted living community and will open up the lines of communication and enable you to start an open and honest conversation with them. You must always keep in the forefront of your mind that your parents have lived their whole lives up until the point of their diagnosis as independent and capable adults who were wholly and unequivocally in control of their own actions and lives. Essentially, the decision remains with them whether they want to move to assisted living facilities and you should categorically never force them to do anything that they are not comfortable in doing.
You must always afford your parents the sense of control over their own lives and give them as much time as they need to process the changes happening to them in their own time. The most useful and positive thing you can do for your parents in this situation is to take them to see the places you have found and focus on the benefits that will be afforded them should they choose to move. Cater to their individual fears and worries about moving; for example, if they are worried about losing contact with their friends in their local neighborhood, show them the range of social activities on offer. Additionally, encourage communication and contact with their current friends and ensure they stay in contact with your parents.
Let Them Know the Benefits of Moving
The benefits of moving to an assisted living community are tenfold, and the best way to make the transition as smooth and as positive as possible is to highlight and remind your parents of these benefits they are about to receive.
Assisted living communities such as Belmont Village Senior Living provide a plethora of health benefits to each and every one of the residents. So naturally, proper nutrition is of the utmost priority, and most apartments will include a kitchenette. However, each resident will receive three freshly prepared meals every day, which will be created by a professional nutritionist and onsite chef, both of whom specialize in nutrition for senior citizens.
Additionally, assisted living facilities ensure residents get plenty of exercise, and as well as ornate gardens and nature walks, most sites are equipped with a fitness center and qualified fitness experts who can help work on a particular area of physical weakness. Problems with loss of balance and a decrease in steadiness are common as a person gets older, and a recent study by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that approximately one in four American citizens over the age of sixty-five suffer a fall at home each and every year.
Assisted living communities are also fantastic at maintaining and building friendships and companionships between residents, not least by organizing social excursions and activities that each resident can choose whether or not to participate in. Such facilities also boast twenty-four-hour medically trained professionals as well as emergency pull-cord systems throughout every individual’s apartment.
On the day of moving from their own home to their new home in an assisted living community, ensure you and your parents have packed an overnight bag together containing fresh clothes for the morning, toiletries, and any other medication or necessary items. This will make their first morning waking up in their new home an easier transition, as well as ensuring all their most important and valuable items are safe, secure, and with your parents always.