Transforming an assisted living apartment or room into a home sounds like quite the trick, but it is not nearly as difficult as it seems. By including a few personal touches and little sensitivity, your loved one will feel just as comfortable in their new home as they had felt in their previous living arrangement.
All the Comforts of Home in Assisted Living
Make your loved one comfortable.
Bring a few daily essentials to make day-to-day activities feel normal. Don’t be afraid to pack up things like dishes, their favorite towels, or even a few appliances. Though those things may be available in their new home, it may soothe them to have the coffee maker they love.
Bedding is a simple way to ease the transition on that very first night. Though it may be tempting to buy all new sheets and blankets for a new home, does your parent really want that? Or, would he or she feel more at home with their current set? Falling asleep in a new home is much easier in a comfortable and familiar bed.
Give the home their personal touch.
One of the best things about moving is the opportunity to redecorate. Allow your loved one to deck out their new home with all the things they love, even if it doesn’t match the aesthetics. Have them bring favorite vases, lamps, and other decorations to spruce up the new area.
Also be sure to bring plenty of pictures. Check out the pictures that are on already on display, and frame a few new snapshots. Surround them with happy memories and pictures of the people, place and things they love the most.
Make sure your loved one points out items that hold special sentimental value – don’t assume you know. As you downsize before the move, you want to ensure these special pieces are set aside and carefully packaged, if need be, for the move.
Plan ahead for the new living space.
Get the measurements of their new assisted living home, apartment or cottage before moving day to avoid surprises. Know ahead of time what will not fit!
Use an assisted living checklist to make sure that your loved one will have everything necessary for daily living on move-in day. If they feel unprepared or not well-equipped, they will associate that initial feeling of panic with their new home.
Help them settle in by planning for activities or ways to keep them busy during those first few days. If they like puzzles, get them a new 1,000-piece puzzle. Introduce them to staff and the activities coordinator. Get a schedule of events. Introduce your parent and yourself to the neighbors.
Be understanding if they’re upset.
It is completely normal for a loved one to have mixed emotions on move-in day. Leaving their home of 50+ years is likely difficult. Don’t discount or ignore their loss, but also try to remain positive. Focus on the benefits of their new home and all the wonderful services, amenities and opportunities that lie ahead.
Mark your visit on the calendar.
Though your loved one will be making new friends and immersing themselves in the culture of their new senior living community, there is often nothing more comforting than spending time with your children and grandchildren.