Are you looking for ways to help your parent or another loved one feel at home and comfortable in their new assisted living community?
Moving can be a little daunting for anyone but if you’re searching for tips to support your mom or dad to acclimate to community life, we can help.
The following steps can help create a welcoming space that your loved one will soon be happy to call home.
10 ways to help loved ones feel at home when moving into assisted living
1. Choose the right community
One of the most important suggestions for helping your parents feel at home is making sure the community they’ve chosen is a good fit for their needs and preferences.
Eskaton has assisted living communities throughout the Sacramento area and across Northern California. We offer a wide array of resort-style amenities and conveniences in addition to personalized assistance with activities of daily living. If you are seeking a safe, supportive environment where independence and personal choice is celebrated and fostered for yourself or a loved one, look no further than Eskaton.
2. Choose the right residence
Discuss with your loved one the type of residence that they would enjoy and spend time looking at floorplan and layout options.
Consider characteristics beyond the specific residence, such as the location within the community, whether it’s near the elevators, offers a deck or patio or enjoys the morning sun.
3. Prepare ahead of time for an adjustment period
Before moving into their assisted living community, talk with your loved ones about what could help them adjust and more quickly feel at home. Discuss the likely transition period and brainstorm ideas of how your family can make this easier.
Knowing that some days will be easy and others more challenging, especially in the beginning, can reassure your parents and help them prepare.
4. Make the new home familiar
One of the easiest ways to help someone feel at home is to recreate as much of their existing home as possible.
Discuss bringing a few favorite furniture pieces, framed photographs or a treasured quilt and make sure their new surroundings reflect the life that they’ve lived and loved. Avoid clutter but remember familiarity can go a long way in creating an inviting and welcoming home.
5. Encourage engagement
Help your loved ones settle in the first few days but also begin gently encouraging them to engage with their new community life.
You might consider eating a few meals with them early on to help begin conversations with their new neighbors or assist them in signing up for a club or group activity that they would enjoy.
6. Visit them regularly
One of the primary fears that older adults often express about moving to an assisted living community is that they’ll no longer see their families.
Schedule regular visits whenever possible. Consider joining them in activities on-site or taking them outside of the community on a special outing. Let them know you’re looking forward to spending quality time together.
7. Be an active listener
This may have been a difficult decision to make but you can help them work through the feelings of leaving their existing house and creating a space where they will feel at home.
Avoid criticism if they’re struggling to see the positive side of assisted living. Empathize and let them know you are considerate of their point of view and remind them you are there to help.
8. Tailor the experience to your loved one’s needs
Adapt any suggestions you find to fit your parents’ preferences and personalities when helping them feel at home in their new assisted living community.
If they are more independent and would rather acclimate quickly alone, then consider checking in only by phone every few days. If they could use the emotional support, try to spend more face-to-face time together.
9. Understand that change can be hard
Most likely this was not a sudden decision and understanding that you have their safety and well-being at heart can make this move easier for everyone.
Patience is key as your parents are also likely dealing with saying goodbye to a previous lifestyle while adjusting to a new home and the changes that aging can bring.
10. Ask the staff for help if needed
If your loved ones are continuing to struggle to adjust, speak to the staff for recommendations on how to help them feel more at home.
They can often introduce residents, activities or social events that might be of interest, while also spending more time helping your parents adapt. The transition period can be different for everyone but it’s important not to leave someone isolated or feeling alone.
Life at Eskaton Communities
The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.
The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents with everything they need for purposeful living.
We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:
- Private residences
- Delicious and nutritious meals
- Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
- Creative activities and therapies
- Fitness centers and exercise classes
- Housekeeping services
- Transportation services
- 24-hour staffing
- Free Wi-Fi
- And much, much more!
If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or a loved one, we’re here to answer any questions that you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living. To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON (or 1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.