If your parent is preparing to move to an assisted living lifestyle at a senior living community, they’re likely to look to you for support. Even if your parent is looking forward to the move, major changes can still be difficult. They may feel the loss of leaving their home and routines, or nervousness about finding their place among new neighbors. In more difficult scenarios, parents who resent the move may experience troubling emotions of bitterness and defeat. However your parent regards their move, you can help to ease their burden by offering compassion and support.
Paul Pridmore, Executive Director at The Clinton Presbyterian Community in Clinton, SC, shares his insight into helping parents make the transition to assisted living: “First and foremost, it’s important to understand your parent’s point of view. An independent individual may have trouble coping with their need for daily support. Try to understand their perspective as you respond to their concerns. Changing residence can be overwhelming for anyone, but aging parents especially need support to make the move go smoothly. Their child’s support and encouragement can make all the difference in their experience.”
5 Ways to Ease the Transition to Assisted Living
From helping your parent with a physical move to acting as a source of positivity and encouragement, there are many ways you can help your parent transition to their new lifestyle. To paraphrase Marguerite Manteau-Rao, author and CEO of Presence Care Project, sometimes the simplest actions make the biggest impact on those we love.
Consider the following strategies as you support your parent in their transition to assisted living:
- Be Present – Don’t make your parent move alone. Be there for them at every step of the process, from helping them downsize to packing their belongings and discarding unwanted items at donation centers. Be present the day they move in to their community to help them acclimate to their new environment and tackle any concerns or questions they may have about their new living space. Plan to stay with your parent throughout their first day. You can help them unpack, get familiar with the locations of different venues in the community and join them for their first meal. It can offer your parent great comfort to transition to their new home with those they know and love at their side.
- Make It Homey – Making your parent’s new assisted living apartment as homelike as possible can add greatly to their comfort and security. Bring along familiar objects, such as favorite wall hangings, knick-knacks, curtains and blankets, to decorate with. Many communities also invite new residents to bring their own furniture. Think of ways you can help your parent enjoy their routines and habits in their new home. Change their address on their newspaper or magazine subscriptions. Keep their room well stocked with favorite books, movies, music and snacks. Set up their nightstand the same way they had it in their previous home. These small touches can help your parent feel at home sooner in a new place.
- Get to Know the Staff – Everyone has the desire to be known and appreciated for who they are. However, this can take some time, especially if your parent is less likely to share personal details with those in their community. To help them make a personal connection sooner, get to know the caregivers and staff members who will be working with your parent. Let them know about your parent’s familiar routines, their likes and dislikes, their interests, etc., so their caregivers have starting points for making meaningful connections. Your parent is likely to feel more at ease when their caregivers know who they are and see them as an individual, not just another resident. Often, the relationships residents form with assisted living staff become extremely valuable and comforting as they find their place within the community.
- Encourage Involvement – Find out what kinds of programs, clubs, activities and events go on at your parent’s community, and suggest they try attending a session to see how they’d like to get involved. Diverse programming makes it easier for new residents to meet others and join in with people who have similar interests. If your parent would appreciate it, suggest attending an activity or party with them. Don’t pressure your parent into participating in something they don’t want to do, but remember that studies show that seniors who are actively involved in their community experience greater health and quality of life. Encourage them to go out and enjoy new opportunities.
- Stay Connected – It’s valuable to give your parent the space to adjust to their new home in their own way, but it’s also important to continue your role as supporter. Stay connected and reaffirm your support often as your parent transitions to a new lifestyle. Make frequent visits, call to check in or send cards or gifts to let them know you’re thinking about them. If you live far away or cannot visit often, stay updated on your parent’s transition by calling their caregivers and staff.
A Place to Call Home
“Transitioning to an assisted living lifestyle can be difficult,” says Pridmore, “but your support and helpfulness can ease your parent’s move. As you offer support, always keep in mind that this move is in your parent’s best interests. They’re moving toward a lifestyle that will improve their health and quality of life. When the move feels overwhelming, remember that the benefits are worth it.”
At The Clinton Presbyterian Community, residents and their families find a vibrant place to call home. As a Life Plan Community, we offer a full continuum of care services, so residents have peace of mind and security in their future care. With the daily support services provided by our assisted living staff, seniors discover a worry-free lifestyle that lets them spend their time and energy on the things they enjoy, and we take care of the rest.
If you would like to know more about assisted living at The Clinton Presbyterian Community, give us a call today.
Senior Care with Small-Town Charm
Welcome to The Clinton Presbyterian Community, located on historic Musgrove Street in Clinton, South Carolina. Our 40-acre, full-service Life Plan Community offers residents an environment of natural beauty and a choice of vibrant lifestyle to match.
Residents of our community enjoy the southern charm of small-town life and the connections and culture of Clinton’s collegiate atmosphere. Here, seniors don’t simply receive amenities and services – they thrive in a community specially designed to help them live each day to its fullest potential.
Longevity & Innovation as a Life Plan Community
The Clinton Presbyterian Community is a Life Plan Community, offering a wide range of senior lifestyles and services including independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care and short-term rehabilitation.
We believe a Life Plan Community should allow future planning and living to merge. Having a plan in place – and the security of access to a continuum of health care services – grants residents the freedom to live life to the fullest.
A Legacy of Service
As one of the Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina, The Clinton Presbyterian Community is a compassionate Christian ministry committed to enriching the quality of life for seniors of all faiths. Built on the values of relationships, service, teamwork and excellence, we ensure our mission and faith are honored daily. While striving to create the highest quality of retirement lifestyles for our residents, we work each day to enrich the spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being of seniors and their families, with our deep heritage leading the way.
Learn more about The Clinton Presbyterian Community. Contact us today!