Moving a loved one into a senior living community can be a challenge for some families, even though it is a great decision. Grandma, Grandpa or Auntie is an important part of your family and you want to make sure they have a smooth transition.
Difficult feelings for everyone involved, including yourself, are completely normal, but just remember that at the end of the day, your relative is going to have a better quality of life with highly qualified and attentive 24-hour staff to help them with their needs. Here are some things you can do to support your loved one as they move into a senior living community like Heritage Villas.
1. Visit Often & Stay Involved
Things are changing for your senior loved one, and they may miss their former home situation. However, having relatives and friends visit often can help make for a smoother transition. When you visit, bring special treats, photos of family or special art projects from younger members of the family. Make sure to plan your visits around scheduled activities to encourage them to participate in their new community.
Just because your family member is staying at a senior living community doesn't mean they can't still come to family occasions. Invite them to events that are off-site, and make it easy for them by offering to give rides and help with physical assistance if they need it.
However, keep their physical limitations in mind and don't try to force them to do something too extreme that will be more stressful than fun! Keep activities at a level that will be doable for everyone involved.
2. Help With the Moving and Transition Process
Even if you hire professional movers to help your relative move into senior living, you and other families should be present for the moving day, if possible. Help your family member decide where everything should go and make sure they have everything they need to feel comfortable before you leave for the day.
Check in with your relative shortly after the move at least a few times to make sure everything is going smoothly. Encourage them to meet their neighbors and to take advantage of all the wonderful services at Heritage Villas like activity programs and day trips.
3. Check In With Staff
Make sure to check in frequently with the staff who will be working with your family member. This is especially important when your loved one is in memory care. Ask about any behavioral changes, mood swings, potential health issues and how things are going in general.
Becoming friendly with the staff is a great idea, but don't get too demanding or pushy. Acknowledge that they have more than one family to deal with and they are all equally important. Staff members give all residents the same high level of care and attention, including your family member!
You can best advocate for your relative by making sure they are well taken care of and that you are up-to-date on all of their latest developments.
4. Validate Their Feelings
Your family member may feel a sense of loss or even grief at moving out of a home, especially if they have lived there for a while. Instead of trying to tell them to feel happy or smile, validate their feelings and understand that it is only natural to feel a bit blue when going through such a transition.
However, you should also encourage them to explore their new environment and point out all of the positive things about their new living situation. This includes amenities like the three delicious meals provided each day, housekeeping and laundry, transportation assistance and bible study.
Once they see how many great neighbors they have and how many fun activities they can participate in, they will start to feel better about the transition and their cloudy mood will fade away into a sunny day.
5. Know When to Step Back
Your relative may need a bit of assistance with the beginning of their transition into a senior living community, but at a certain point, they will make friends with their neighbors and their schedule will fill up with fun activities like pet therapy or day trips. When this happens, don't take it personally -- it just means that your senior relative is taking well to their new environment!
That doesn't mean that you should stop calling, visiting and checking in with the staff. It just means you don't need to do so quite as much, and you can let your worries about your family member's senior living transition fall to the wayside a little bit because they are doing well!
Ready to Visit?
If you're ready to make this positive change with your senior relative, contact Heritage Villas for a personalized tour. Our helpful staff will be able to answer any questions you have as they show you the grounds and tell you all about the incredible services on-site. Visit and find out why Heritage Villas is a top choice for independent living and memory care in Canton, Ohio.