How To Make Sure Your Parent Is Thriving in Assisted Living
Moving your parent into assisted living in Peoria, AZ can be hard for everyone, but we’ve got some tips on how to make sure your parent is thriving in their new community.
Moving your parents into assisted living in Peoria, AZ, might have been a journey for you. There’s a lot of uncertainty in moving to a new place, and an adjustment period is to be expected. You might be concerned that your parent(s) aren’t going to have a good time in assisted living. Don’t fret! Here are a few ways you can assess their quality of life in assisted living and a few ways you can help make the adjustment easier:
Signs They’re Thriving
1. They Feel Welcome and Connected
Loneliness and isolation are among the biggest health problems for seniors and can cause health risks. Humans are social creatures, and without connections to the people around us, there’s a greater risk for physical problems such as heart disease and mental problems such as cognitive decline and depression.
Socialization within assisted living communities is easy! Not only can you find a place with classes and activities, but most communities also have a place for them with lots of common areas where they can spend time with their new friends or old friends who come to visit. There’s nothing like chatting with someone over a cup of tea or coffee, spending time at a game of billiards or Scrabble, or enjoying a meal with a group of folks.
2. They Enjoy Activities
Some of that sense of connection can be fostered through trips outside the community. There are so many things to explore and experience in Peoria, Arizona! Engaging with the world keeps a senior’s mind sharp and spirits high, so make sure that your parent is taking advantage of day trips, shopping excursions, and field trips. Even if they don’t like big crowds, there must be something they’d like to do with a smaller group – go to a golf course, enjoy a concert or play, or maybe there’s a sporting event they want to check out.
Movement is crucial to stay healthy, even if it’s just walking around a mall. Endorphins will raise their spirits after a walk or an exercise session. A short daily walk can work wonders, and you can encourage them to check out group workout classes like a pool workout.
3. They Have Better Hygiene
One sign that your parent may need to move to senior living is if their hygiene is slipping. Some obvious signs include unkempt hair, infrequent bathing, and less frequent trips to the laundry. Baskets of laundry can be heavy, and lugging them to the machine can seem a daunting task to some. Many falls happen in the shower or bathtub, and a senior might fear getting into a situation they can’t get out of, especially if their home isn’t equipped with grab bars or a walk-in shower.
You might also notice less housework being completed, which could contribute to further problems. For instance, if those dishes aren’t done, it could contribute to pests in the home, and if the fridge isn’t cleared out, there could be mold on food that would make them ill. This might be difficult to admit, but it may become necessary to move into assisted living for some seniors who aren’t able to care for themselves anymore.
In an assisted living community, your senior will have assistance with as many of their daily chores as their needs require. Laundry, cooking, and other housekeeping chores will be handled for them, and they can receive bathing, grooming, and dressing assistance if they need it. It will all contribute to a much happier and healthier senior!
How To Help Your Loved One Transition
1. Resist Becoming a Helicopter
We know you want to make sure your parent is settling in well to their new assisted living apartment, but visiting too often could be counterproductive. It might look like you’re being supportive, but if they grow to expect you every day at the same time, they might structure their day around your visit and opt out of other events and opportunities where they could have spent time with their new neighbors.
There’s obviously going to be a balance, considering the health and energy levels of your senior and how outgoing they are, and there are going to be some adjustments as you figure out how often to come to visit. Maybe you could visit once or twice a week for a meal for the first month. It might take two or three months for them to feel “at home,” but once they’ve gotten comfortable and made a few friends among their neighbors, you can encourage visits from friends and other family members.
2. Make a Point to Check In
While you don’t want to be a helicopter, you also don’t want only to visit infrequently. It’s not like you want to simply drop them off and only visit on major holidays since this can lead to your loved one feeling abandoned.
You can check in with your senior in other ways without coming to visit! You can give them a phone call, text, send emails, or schedule a video chat just to say hi and see how they’re doing.
3. Take a Breath
If you think your parent is unhappy in assisted living, don’t be too quick to pull them out of the situation. It could take as little as a week to feel comfortable in a new living situation, but it could also take as long as six months. Everyone has a different time frame.
Some of that feeling can also be attributed to your own emotions, so be sure to practice mindfulness. You may be used to seeing and caring for your parent every day. You could feel guilt, shame, anxiety, or even a sense of loss in their absence, and you might still feel like this even if your parent is excited to move to assisted living. It’s an emotional rollercoaster for you both.
At Mission at Agua Fria in Peoria, Arizona, we strive to make our seniors feel comfortable in their new home. Contact us today to see how we can help your senior thrive!