When your aging loved one makes the move to senior living, it marks the start of a wonderful new chapter in their life. The love, support, and goodwill of the right senior community can help them make the most out of their retirement years while putting their mind (and yours) at ease that their needs will be met. However, life’s transitions can be difficult for many people, especially if they have uprooted their lives to move to an unfamiliar setting. Fortunately, there are many ways to soften this adjustment and help them flourish in their new surroundings. Below are a few ways to help them adapt to this new beginning.
Make Move-in Day a Family Affair
If it is possible, enlist the help of friends and family members to help with the move. From a logistical standpoint, this can reduce or even eliminate the cost of moving services. More importantly, however, it puts a positive spin on a stressful day. It creates an excuse for people to get together and can uplift your loved one as their friends and family rally around them. It can also help distract them from feelings of uncertainty or anxiety as they are surrounded by familiar faces.
Make Visits a Priority
Regular visits from loved ones can help dispel the temporary feelings of loneliness or discomfort people can experience when they are in a new setting. They also help maintain a feeling of closeness for both parties, so they should remain a priority even after the person has adjusted. However, not everyone lives within driving distance of their loved one’s new home, which can make visits a challenge. If possible, try and make it a point to see them during holidays, or better yet, invite them to stay with you for such occasions.
In-person visits can be complicated by distance or health concerns; fortunately, “face-to-face” connections don’t have to be. Many senior living communities offer resources like computers with video-chat software like Zoom or Skype. Those that do also tend to offer support in teaching residents how to use these technologies. Additionally, more and more seniors are becoming proficient with smartphones – many of which have built-in video chat applications like FaceTime. Resources like these can help bridge the gap of physical distance and help new residents maintain connections with their loved ones.
Offer Plenty of Encouragement
The right senior living community will offer plenty of activities and opportunities for socialization. One of the many wonderful things about senior living is the new friendships that can be formed with neighbors and staff members. However, these activities tend to be optional. If a new resident has a tendency for shyness or they are feeling overwhelmed by their new surroundings, they may avoid them. If you notice or hear from staff that they are isolating, try and gently encourage them to get involved in the community. This can help them forge new friendships and allow their new social life to flourish.
If you would like to learn more about a multi-level, non-profit Ontario senior living community with a welcoming atmosphere and vibrant social setting, contact Inland Christian Home. Call us today at (909) 983-0084 or reach us online.