Your Loved One Has Moved to Assisted Living in Arizona: Now What?
Transitioning to a new home is difficult on the best occasions.
Transitioning to a new home is difficult on the best occasions. Everything is new, and it’s easy to misplace important items and get turned around in our own new home. For our senior loved ones, moving to a new home is even more difficult. Familiar surroundings are a big comfort, and when that’s gone, confusion, panic, and depression can set in. So how do we help our loved ones settle into their new home once they have moved into assisted living in Arizona? Solterra Senior Living has some helpful tips for making the transition more comfortable for everyone involved.
Allow for Grieving Time of Years Past
When moving an aging loved one into assisted living, emotions can run high. The longing for those younger years and the sadness that may surround leaving one’s home that provided comfort and memories over numerous years can be hard to accept. Fear of the unknown and the fear of being abandoned by friends and family now that they’re in assisted living in Arizona can overwhelm them. You may be feeling some grieving as well and possibly some guilt around the move.
Rest assured, the high emotions won’t last forever. Allow time for grieving for all of those involved. It may take a few months, and there may be some hurdles to jump over, but your loved one will settle into their new home over time.
During those first few weeks of settling into their new home, familiar faces can be a bright spot in unfamiliar surroundings. Just like when our parents helped us settle into our new college dorm rooms with frequent visits and care packages, our parents will also appreciate these gestures while they settle into their new home.
Your senior loved ones may find it easier to join in on new activities or eat a meal in the new dining hall if they have a familiar person with them to talk to. This can help get your loved ones out and about in their new community, meeting new people and making friends. Having friends to look forward to seeing each day will surely make for a better experience in their new home.
Phone calls can also help remind our loved ones that they are not forgotten. Calling to say hi and talk about their day is helpful when easing the transition to living in an assisted living community. Send your loved one’s new contact information out to their family and friends so their loved ones can reach out to chat, and send holiday cards and care packages. Having the love of friends and family is irreplaceable.
Advocate for Your Loved Ones
Sometimes, when transitioning to a new home, there are specific wants that our loved ones may have but feel shy or unable to talk about for various reasons. This is where you come in. Don’t be afraid to talk with staff on your loved one’s behalf to see if their wants are able to be accommodated. Sometimes it’s just a matter of expressing the need to a staff that’s unaware of a specific request. Sometimes, making allowance for a routine or a specific want that brings comfort can make all the difference when adjusting to a new home.
Bring Comfort Items from Home
During the first few weeks in their new surroundings, it can be a comfort to have familiar items that bring a sense of stability and coziness. Perhaps your loved one has a favorite pillow or blanket they use to snuggle up with on the couch or bed. Make sure to bring them along. Hang family photos to make their new living space homier and more familiar. Hang any decorations from their old home that bring them a sense of comfort, such as wall art or their favorite drapes. Bring some cheer to their new home with some potted plants by the window or on the kitchen table.
Moving to a new home can be rough for seniors who may have trouble finding where everything is in their new location. Labels or post-it notes placed in strategic places can help our loved ones quickly find what they need, easing anxiety and making their new home feel more like their own. Labeling each cabinet with its contents, such as dishes, drinking glasses, and utensils, can help make their new place less of a mystery.
If they manage their own medications, having a specific location for all their medications and supplements in one easy-to-find spot. Including a list of what each medication is, when and how much to take, and the prescribing physician, can make managing their medications much easier.
Bringing in their favorite chair or piece of furniture with them to their new apartment can bring comfort and familiarity as well.
Continue Activities and Social Life Outside of Assisted Living
Just because our loved ones have moved into an assisted living community in Arizona doesn’t mean their social life should come to a halt. Make sure they have access to the things they loved doing prior to their move. Offer to transport them to their church meetups or the poker games they enjoy. Their assisted living community also might offer transportation options, or your loved one may be able to drive themselves. Whatever best fits their situation, make sure they can continue their social life as they lived it before to help keep them active, alert, and happy.
If your loved one is looking for a new home, consider Solterra Senior Living community as their new apartment. At Solterra Senior Living, we ensure our residents continue to do the things they love doing, with the safety and security of our trained staff just a step away. If you or a loved one is considering a move to assisted living, contact us for more information. We’re here to help each step of the way.