Simplifying Transitions with Senior Living Advisors
A senior living care recipient’s transition from home, or another residence can be a tricky time. Often, these transitions are uncomfortable for new residents. Simple tasks like learning their way around the community or deciding where to sit during meal service can be unsettling when they’ve previously had deeply ingrained routines.
Smooth transitions can reduce the stress experienced by a resident and their loved ones and help them feel like a part of your retirement community.
Ensuring that these transitions go well can be challenging, but the support of an experienced Senior Living Advisor can help. Since Senior Living Advisors are not directly affiliated with your residence, transitioning seniors have a sense that the support and recommendations they receive are trustworthy. Along with SLAs’ deep insight and years of experience to support their credibility, their relationships with your ideal residents often result in higher placement satisfaction for you and your clients.
Why Transitions are Challenging
There are many challenges that a senior and their loved ones may face when transitioning into care or between residences. Further, these challenges differ between seniors depending on their physical, emotional, and cognitive abilities, along with the surrounding circumstances of their move.
For example, if a person is moving because they have realized that they need extra help with daily living activities, their experience may be affected by feelings of upset over no longer living in their home or a sense of losing their independence.
This may be different from another resident who is moving because their original residence no longer meets their care needs—they've already made the difficult transition away from their private residence and may have a different attitude toward receiving care.
Senior Living Advisors take these factors into account when searching for care providers on behalf of their clients. Moreover, SLAs will be able to devote more time and attention to the process, alleviating some of the stress of the move.
Preparing for Smooth Transitions
Thorough preparation plays a significant role in creating a positive experience for new residents. Most of this preparation starts well before the resident has agreed to move in.
Residents and their families often start the process of looking for care providers with independent research, and a whopping 83% of nursing home consumers don't have a specific care provider in mind when beginning their search (Invoca, 2021). Unfortunately, navigating the senior living industry’s digital landscape can sometimes leave them with more questions than answers.
This is where Senior Living Advisors come in.
With a little intention, you’ll be able to build stronger relationships with SLAs in your area. This can be a result of networking, engaging with them through your website or social media channels, or through a platform like caredupon.ca.
By giving Senior Living Advisors access to a wealth of information about your residence and the care you provide, you’ll also be supporting seniors and their families through this critical transition period. In addition, providing SLAs with residence information, up-to-date educational material, and qualitative insights about your community can further support their efforts.
Each Senior Living Advisor will use what they know to ensure that your residence “checks all the boxes” for prospective residents before they’re placed with you.
Move-In Day Best Practices
After receiving guidance and ultimately choosing you as a senior care provider, your new residents are finally ready to move in. This is the time where you and your new client’s Senior Living Advisor can team up to ensure that residents experience as smooth a transition as possible.
Your resident’s advisor has spent lots of time getting to know them to ensure that the residences they recommend align with a senior’s specific care needs, personality, wishes, and desires. Chances are, a Senior Living Advisor also knows what your new resident enjoys, what their life was like before their move, and who their closest friends and family members are.
Consider asking SLAs if they’d be willing to share the profile they’ve created of your new resident, prior to their move in. This information will allow you to personalize your welcome, match your new resident’s personality with that of a star resident ambassador, or help you recommend activities they may be interested in.
Having systems like these in place works to reduce the anxiety of moving into an unfamiliar environment. Ensuring that new residents feel welcome and accepted plays a huge part in their comfort levels.
It’s important to note that the information you receive from Senior Living Advisors isn’t a one-way street. New residents and their loved ones can feel even more confident in their choice if they’re provided with information specific to your residence’s day-to-day operations.
Consider putting together an information package to have Senior Living Advisors pass along. You may include things like:
- Caregivers or other staff members’ names, bios and photos
- Who their across-the-hall neighbors are
- Information about using and accessing amenities
- Sample daily itineraries
- Food service menus
- Current programs and activities
- Maps and photos of the residence
- Testimonials and reviews from others in their care
This resource can help seniors imagine themselves staying with you and alleviate the discomfort caused by the uncertainty of moving to a new place. While they’re getting settled, this document can act as a roadmap and give them the ability to manage their expectations. In addition, Senior Living Advisors usually keep in contact with their clients for a period after they’ve been placed, this document can help residents give detailed feedback about their experience so far.
Don’t feel like you should wait for your new resident’s SLA to do a check-in. Following a transition, regular check-ins should take place during a resident’s first few weeks with your residence. Checking in with new residents can help care providers catch feelings of isolation, loneliness, boredom, or any other dissatisfaction early, and nip them in the bud.
The initial transition into or between senior care residences can be challenging for seniors, but care providers and Senior Living Advisors can team up to create great experiences. With warm, open channels of communication and a little preparation, new residents will feel connected, engaged and welcome in their new senior living communities.