How To Help Seniors Make the Transition Into Senior Living
Moving into a new home can be a stressful and emotional task. During this time you may choose to support your senior loved one by helping them plan and providing them with much-needed support and positive reinforcement to help transition into their new lifestyle.
As with any major life transition, knowing how to plan and what to anticipate ahead of time can help make the process go more smoothly. By creating a plan to help break down large tasks into smaller ones that are easier to take on, you can help them make the transition into moving to senior living easier. Consider these suggestions below to make your senior loved one’s transition into senior living smoother.
Create a Plan
As you begin the process, you may find it helpful to start reviewing the floor plan of their new apartment to see how much it can accommodate. You and your senior loved may choose to visit the residence to measure the space and to ensure that their furniture will fit the space. Once you have an idea of how the apartment is going to look, you can begin downsizing.
Split Their Tasks
To help the moving process go more smoothly, you may choose to divide their packing into smaller tasks to help them with the process. Depending on the size of their home, going through each section to pack may take some time. Make time in your calendar for you and a loved one to commit to each part of the house one at a time. Start with the most difficult areas first, such as the garage or basement, and work your way up to the front of the house. Focusing on taking smaller steps can help you and your loved one avoid being overwhelmed as you navigate through the process of packing.
Take Inventory of Their Belongings
When moving into a retirement home, many consider downsizing their personal belongings as they generally can't fit everything they have from home into their new one. Look through their personal items and everything alongside and choose to only bring what matters most to them. For example, if your loved one is an avid reader, you may choose to only pack some of their favourite books or what they haven’t read yet.
Help Yourself by Helping Others
As noted above, many items in your senior loved one’s current home may not fit in their new one. Instead of throwing these goods away, consider donating them to a charity that will redistribute them to someone in need. There are numerous charities and nonprofits that will take these items off your hands, free of charge, where the proceeds will be given to those in need.
Take Your Time
As preparing for a move is a hard and emotionally draining process, It’s best to start slow and take your time with it. It's hard to cram the process into a week, which might cause undue stress for you and your loved ones, as well as anyone else who may be assisting you. Take the time to appreciate the process of moving by going through your photo albums together when you come across them or by discussing the significance of an old forgotten item they may have recently discovered. Reminiscing on previous memories may help relieve some of the tension that you and your loved ones may be feeling throughout the process, and it can also help you both move on to the new chapter.
Bring in the Professionals
If you and your senior loved one are finding it difficult to pack on your own, consider hiring professional movers to assist with the move. Professional movers, unlike families, do not have emotional attachments to the residences and are able to do the job as swiftly as possible. Allowing someone else to handle the moving procedure can also allow you to focus on any other tasks that may require your attention before the moving day.
Downsizing and moving away from a home you or a loved one have grown to love is never easy, and it is a large task that no one should do alone. It's important to remind your senior loved one that even though their new space may be smaller and unfamiliar to them, it will be more convenient and better suited to their given health and personal care needs.