How to help families transition to living separately in Assisted Living?

How to help families transition to living separately in Assisted Living?

Old age is a part of every living being’s life cycle. Nobody can skip that. The average life expectancy of a human being is around 80 years. With this consistent flow of aging, parents may begin to realize their limited capacity and time. In such a case, help offered through assisted living might be the best option to go for. 

Elderly persons seem to be separated due to illness mostly but other complications  can occur at the same time. Moving such parents, even those who are eager to do so, into assisted living centers, or senior care facilities, can be bristled with sentiments and feelings of different emotions. Here’s how you can help your parents adjust to living separately in Assisted Living:

Paying a visit once in a while

Many experts say that visiting your parents in a senior living facility can ease the situation. Due to the separation, in the beginning, they may feel abandoned or alone. Once in a while, a visit may help to calm those fears. To live apart and the aching of being separate may seem to them as an insuperable thing. They have spent so many years together with their own blood, and being separated from them suddenly is bound to affect their feelings,  and they may take some time to settle in. 

Thus, frequent visits may help to improve their state of living. It will be helpful if you join them for dinner sometimes or participate in some activities together. When parents grow old, they tend to develop a poor appetite, and  eating together with them can help bring the normalcy back. It can also be nice to join them in some of their favorite activities, like watching their favorite tv show with them or grabbing a coffee together on a pleasant evening. Sometimes, it can be beneficial for your parents to talk to a trusted third party, this can be someone from your family, you can ask a community leader or even consider hiring a counselor or psychologist. 

All of these may help the parents to cope with living under the observation of senior care service. Everyone is unique in their way. It is different for everyone to deal with living separately, but togetherness can be very comforting. So, visiting them once in a while can be of great help.

In other words, doing the following can work a great deal out:

  • Frequent visits
  • Spending quality time together
  • Having meals together
  • Doing several activities together
  • Asking a trusted third party to visit them

Complications may arise

At the very beginning, when parents settle in among the assisted living communities and you try to think you’re at ease, things tend to change. Human beings have always feared change. Parents may say they feel lonely. They may say they don’t prefer it there. All these can be painful to hear, but these are normal and eventually will pass. Keeping in touch with them throughout the process may help comfort them. 

There will always be such setbacks, and it is always expected. With enough time, everything will be in its place and it will get back to normal.

Appreciating your parents

Parents may seem uncomfortable in the first few days or even months in the memory care homes, but with proper care, management and time, it will all settle down. You may want to surround them with positive vibes, but you have to know when to appreciate and consider their feelings. You cannot always talk about the all-positive activities. 

Sometimes, listening to them about their concerns and fears is what they want; sometimes, acknowledging them may be the right thing to do. When you listen to them, they may open up to you more and feel more comfortable. They will be more likely to listen to your thoughts too. Just listening, appreciating, and acknowledging can be the comfort zone for them.

  • Listen to them about what they have to say
  • Acknowledging and appreciating their thoughts 

Encompassing your parents with the feeling of home

Parents may sometimes speak of home. But that does not necessarily mean a particular place. Home is composed of both a place and feeling. Especially if they have dementia, they may seem to talk about the home, referred to as their native home. It is difficult to keep hearing about the home from your parents. 

Sometimes, the situation cannot be changed, but what you can do is appreciate them with the feeling of being loved, like home. You can hear them out and let them express themselves to you, and that will help. Being in an assisted home will be an unusual feeling for the parents. It will be a whole new place to be in the senior community. But it can be customized with family photos, friends’ pictures, different photo albums, artworks, books (of which they are familiar with), and it can be anything that will make them feel at home. The bedroom can be set up with the old familiar blankets and pillows. 

The kitchen can be highlighted with familiars like spoons and cups. They can be away from home, but that does not necessarily mean they have to stay away from their comfort zone, that familiar feeling they always had.

  • Make them feel they are at home
  • Make their surrounding like the home
    • Add photos of friends and family
    • Add personal preferences in the bedroom
    • Add familiar utensils in the kitchen

Working together as a team

Do not forget that the members and staff of the assisted living community are a part of your team. The team from Lantern Lifestyle has already been doing this with great care and is experienced with senior care, respite care for the elderly, and long term memory care. You will be concerned and worried about your parents, but they are here to help you along the way. Talking to them openly might be the best thing you can do. 

Tell them about what your parents like and dislike, which will help the staff with the activity transitions. They are concerned about them as much as you are. You can ask the staff about anything. If parents are shy about doing anything, they will keep a close eye and assist them accordingly. 

An important thing to remember is that every new thing takes some time to settle, and this process is the same.

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