Do you remember when you first moved out of your parents’ house and went on your own? Your parents worried about how you would survive without your family nearby. Yet somehow, you did it: you created your own family with those around you.
Now that your parent is moving into assisted living, it’s time to help them find their family of friends.
Creating a strong web of people that you can rely on is crucial to your health, happiness, and satisfaction of life. Having a support system can help you live longer, deal with stress more effectively and pursue a healthier lifestyle.
Here are a few tips for helping your parents find their family in assisted living:
- Ask about the social calendar. It’s helpful if your parent can find a club or activity that intrigues them. There’s a great opportunity for quality friendships to be formed with people who have similar interests.
- Prepare for the transition. If your parent feels prepared, he or she will be much more willing to head out and socialize on day one. If you’re both scrambling to figure things out at the last second, the initial reaction will be less productive. Also, by touring the community and making connections prior to arrival, your parent will feel comfortable stepping out into the community and introducing themselves.
- Encourage questions. The more your parent knows about the community, the more they will want to be a part of it. Asking questions will help them engage in the community and begin networking before and after move-in day.
- Ask about their friends. Learn their names, former occupations, interests, etc. If you ask your parents about their friends, it will help show them that you care about their social circle.
Most importantly, remember that everyone will transition to life in assisted living differently, but know that the friendships made can be deep and long-lasting. With a little preparation, love and encouragement, soon your parent will have their own family of support.