Getting Ready for Assisted Living Facilities
No matter what the circumstances, moving from your own home into an assisted living facility could be stressful and be a tough call. Whether you made the final decision or your children did, you are sure to go through a turbulent time at this transitional stage of your life. Stress is just a minor issue in this situation. You will probably go through a flood of emotions, a sense of loss, intense pain and grief due to the loss of your own home, community and even the neighborhood. It is a kind of a loss that could never be expressed in mere words.
The very thought of leaving behind everything you have been associated with, everything you know, could make you feel vulnerable. You may feel that you are losing your identity and losing your freedom. However, it is really vital to understand that all these emotions are quite natural under the circumstances. Family members should appreciate and acknowledge the reactions and feelings of great loss. Counseling and therapy could be helpful. If you have made the decision yourself, you must allow some time for grieving and getting used to the change.
Life in an assisted living facility will involve a little bit of adjustment. It will be a completely new living environment. Moreover, you will be meeting new people with whom you will be required to interact and live with from now on. You need to get adjusted to the new team of caregivers. This is a brand new beginning to your life, a new chapter, but you can make it a happy one provided you prepare yourself mentally well in advance, and make the transition easier and less stressful. Here are some tips:
Pack in advance
Pack a while before the date you are scheduled to move. Do not unnecessarily increase your stress and anxiety by packing just before leaving, because that would involve hasty decisions regarding what to take and to discard. Why add pressure when you are already in an emotional turmoil?
Choose a good assisted living facility after proper research
You should do ample research online if necessary, to identify the right assisted living facility. Read reviews, ask for references, educational materials and annual reports. Get in touch with the references and find out about their experience and opinion. Judge for yourself and choose a reliable and reputable assisted living facility such as Assisting Hands Houston.
Do your homework
You should know in advance what to expect, the kind of life, people, atmosphere and adjustments you will need to make in the assisted living facility you are about to move into. You must read all the materials before you move. Make sure you have gotten answers to all your questions before making a decision to move in.
Keep yourself engaged
It is important to stay busy once you move. You need to divert your attention from the feeling of loss and grief. Engage yourself by participating in activities, interacting with other residents and exploring the facility. You will soon develop new hobbies, make new friends and enjoy living a brand new life.
Things that family members should do for easy transition
Your elderly loved one will be missing the comfort and privacy of his or home home. They will also miss you and need your assurance. Make sure that he or she doesn’t feel ostracized. Here are what you can do to make this transitional a smooth and stress-free experience for your loved one:
- Give unconditional support to them as they shift to an assisted living facility.
- They are stressed, so acknowledge and appreciate their feelings. Respect their feelings and sympathize over their loss.
- Keep calling them. Visit them as often as possible to stay connected. Regular contact will give them confidence in your love and care for them. Regular emails or calls will make them feel wanted and loved.
- Assist them in personalizing their living area. Allow them to bring their favorite possessions and decorationss to give them a real feel of home.
If you are finding it difficult to adjust to certain issues, share your concerns with family members and work through those issues together. If the issue seems to be a serious one and there seems to be no solution, consider looking at other assisted living facilities.
Article by Lauren Hoff, a blogger and social worker. She has worked for several NGOs and non-profit care giving organizations for senior citizens. She currently writes a blog advocating the need to take care of the elderly and ensure that they get proper care.