Helping to Ease the Transition to Assisted Living
As our loved ones age, it can become harder and harder for them to live independently at home. Their needs change and the amount of care they need increases. When it comes time to talk to your loved ones about assisted living, you may be met with unwillingness and hesitation. This change is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many things you can do to help ease the transition for your loved one.
According to Edward Toy, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lions Gate, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Voorhees, New Jersey, as much as our loved ones know they need the help, they are afraid of the change that is occurring. “The biggest challenge in making the move to assisted living is the actual transition,” Ed states. “Our loved ones are so used to living at home and so used to the life they lead that they are afraid and uncomfortable about uprooting themselves. Even those who are flexible and open to transitioning to an assisted living community have their fears. This is normal,” he states, “because this is a major life change.”
Because change is so hard for our loved ones, we need to take into consideration what we can do to help make our loved ones more comfortable during this transition to an assisted living community.
5 WAYS TO HELP EASE THE TRANSITION TO ASSISTED LIVING
- Try to be understanding. When it comes time for your loved ones to transition into an assisted living community, expect some reluctance. It can be expected that they will have some trouble considering a change this big may not be easy for them. Leaving their home and moving to an unfamiliar assisted living community where they know no one can take an emotional toll on them. Be patient and understanding, as it will take them some time to transition fully. Be open-minded and listen to their concerns in an effort to see if there is anything you can do to help make their space feel more like home.
- Help them move to their new home. It can help to make your loved one’s transition easier if you help them throughout the moving process. Being there for your loved one at each step of the moving process will help them to feel as though you want them to be comfortable and that you care about how this change is affecting them. You can offer to help them pack belongings to take with them, as well as discard unwanted items at donation centers. Helping them to downsize can take some of the stress off of them and help them to not feel so overwhelmed. On the day of the move, help them unpack, learn the locations of various rooms in the community and eat with them.
- Make sure they have what they love. If in their house they had a candy basket or often shared coffee with their neighbors or friends, make sure that they always have these items stocked in their new home. It may encourage them to continue the tradition and help them to begin to socialize and make new friends. If your loved one had pictures covering the walls in their old home, make sure they have photographs of the people they miss and those who influenced them hanging around their new home.
- Talk to the staff. Let the staff know about your loved one’s likes, dislikes, routines and interests. By talking to the staff about your loved one, you could help them to make a connection that can make them feel more welcome and comfortable in their community. As they get to know your loved one, they are more likely to feel at ease and adjust easier since those caring for them know who they are personally.
- Get them to socialize and get involved. Don’t force your loved one to socialize right away, but help them to get familiar with the people who live near them and the activities that are offered. By doing this, they are more likely to begin to feel comfortable enough to start doing new things. Talk to the community’s lifestyle specialist to learn what kinds of activities and programs are available for the residents. Keep in mind the activities your loved one enjoys. If your loved one enjoyed planting flowers, encourage them to get involved in gardening. If they love to read, purchase a few books from their book club or show them where the library is. If they are not yet comfortable attending activities alone, offer to attend some with them.
“By recognizing your loved one’s emotions and considering how they feel, you are able to bond with them and make them feel as though they are supported in this change,” Ed states, “which makes the transition to an assisted living community easier – and happier – for everyone involved. Give them time to make new friends and once they do, give them the space to be independent. Now that they are in an environment that allows them to be cared for, carefree and independent, you can all rest easy.”
HELPING YOU – AND YOUR LOVED ONE – DURING THE TRANSITION TO ASSISTED LIVING.
“At Lions Gate’s, we are always here to help you and your family,” says Ed. “Guiding you and your loved one during this time of transition is no different. We offer support, care, community and tradition where residents receive support while gaining peace-of-mind from our full range of services and care.”
Your loved one will soon feel at home with our life-enriching programs. With museums, restaurants and theaters so close by, your loved one will wonder what took them so long to make the move. By transitioning to Lions Gate’s Assisted Living community, they may have left home, but they certainly didn’t leave behind their active, independent lifestyle. They simply traded up to a place that allows them to pursue pastimes and interests that they have long forgot or not yet discovered. If you would like more information on helping your loved one transition to assisted living, or would like to learn more about Lions Gate, contact us today!
EXPERIENCE LIFESTYLE, CARE, COMMUNITY AND TRADITION AT LIONS GATE.
Lions Gate, located in Voorhees, NJ, offers a continuum of lifestyle and care options rooted in Jewish traditions and values. Whether you are in need of Independent Living,Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing or Rehabilitation Services, Lions Gate has you covered.
Our mission at Lions Gate is to enrich the lives of those we serve through quality and compassionate care consistent with our heritage and values. We strive to provide programs and services that inspire well-being, as well as social, cultural and spiritual independence.
As a full-service community rich in wellness programs, meaningful experiences and educational opportunities from Lions Gate University, Lions Gate allows residents to connect with those who share their interests and cherished traditions. Our goal is to provide residents with an active, worry-free lifestyle filled with ways to connect with others, pursue their passions and be engaged in everyday life. While we focus on Jewish customs and traditions, we welcome people of all faiths to the Lions Gate family.
Through our affiliation with Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Service, we also offer three senior living communities for those with limited incomes.