Being concerned about how your dad will handle the transition into assisted living is a normal part of the process. Change can be difficult even when it is positive change. Fortunately, there are some ways you can help make your dad’s transition into assisted living a good one. You can start by helping him develop accurate expectations about the move. Other ways you can help include pointing out the positives of assisted living and visiting every chance you get.
Create clear expectations
Having clear expectations about assisted living can help tremendously as your dad makes the transition. Moving can be a stressful and complicated process at any age. But, for seniors with health or mobility issues the process of moving can take on a higher level of stress. Your dad could feel frustrated that he cannot do as much as he once could or struggle with the thought of others moving his things. The key here is to talk through the logistics of the move so your dad is on board with the process. If he understands how it is going to happen beforehand you can avoid surprises that could be upsetting or stressful.
In order to have a smooth transition into assisted living your dad needs to know what to expect once he gets there. Creating clear expectations about assisted living can drastically reduce your dad’s concerns and stress. Is your dad the type of person who likes to know what’s on the agenda for the day? Take out the community calendar of the assisted living he chose and look at the options. Taking a tour of the assisted living community is another way to create clear expectations. Spending a little time there will allow your dad to more accurately imagine his life once he moves.
Highlight the positives
Assisted living can improve your dad’s life in a number of ways. He will no longer have to worry about transportation, mowing the lawn, or maintaining the house. He will be able to interact with others on a regular basis and develop new relationships. In addition, high quality assisted living communities offer a wide range of amenities designed to make your dad’s stay as enjoyable as possible. Highlighting the positives of assisted living can help make your dad’s transition an easier one.
If the assisted living community your dad chose is near you then visiting regularly can help with his transition. One of the fears many seniors have is that their loved ones will stop visiting once they go into assisted living. You can show your dad that he has no need to fear that by visiting as often as your schedule allows. If you do not live nearby, let your dad know when you plan to visit. Having a date on the calendar to look forward to is another way to help his transition into assisted living go smoothly.
The most important thing you can do to help your dad transition into assisted living is to make sure he knows you are there to help every step of the way. There are decisions to make, logistics to work out, and feelings to process when it comes time to move into assisted living. Knowing that you are there to help with all of these elements can make it possible for your dad to have a good transition into assisted living.