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Stay Positive as You Help Your Loved Transition to Assisted Living

a nurse leans in to talk with a senior man

Any big life change can cause a range of emotions. If you’re feeling worried or having doubts about moving your loved one to assisted living, that’s common. Even if you’re confident you’ve made the best choice, this move means saying goodbye to an old way of life. However, it also brings with it many benefits. Staying focused on these positives can help your loved one transition to assisted living and better adjust to his or her new home.

9 Strategies to Transition to Assisted Living

Throughout this transition, do what you can to make things as easy as possible for your loved one. As their caregiver, you want to see them comfortable and happy. While you both will have moments of sadness or doubt, you can take steps to encourage and support your loved one. Here are nine ways to be there for them.

  1. Be strong – Be prepared to listen to and acknowledge any big feelings your loved one may have. However, try to stay strong and keep an encouraging tone. Avoid getting too caught up in these emotions.
  2. Practice patience – Helping your loved one settle into assisted living takes time. Stay patient with your loved one. If he or she expresses doubt, remind your loved one why you both made this choice and about the benefits of assisted living.
  3. Avoid too many changes – You don’t want to overwhelm your loved one with new gadgets or other big changes. Let your loved one adjust to assisted living first. Then, slowly make any other needed adjustments.
  4. Focus on the familiar – One great way to help your loved one settle in is favorite objects like photos or collectibles. Make sure these items are in your loved one’s new apartment from day one.
  5. Add some labels – Your loved one may feel upset when objects are hard to find in his or her new home. Use labels on cabinets or drawers to make it easier.
  6. Go out together – Make plans outside of your loved one’s new home. Going to familiar places can help your loved one continue to feel connected. A simple walk together can also help relieve stress and boost your mood.
  7. Encourage activity – Your loved one may settle into assisted living faster when he or she is involved in the community. Staying active also helps overall well-being. Specifically, the National Institute on Aging says meaningful activities support feelings of health and happiness.
  8. Plan visits – It helps to surround your loved one with familiar faces. Set up a visit schedule with your family and loved ones. Even if they can’t visit in person, videos or calls work too.
  9. Maintain independence – In the end, your goal during this transition is to help your loved one feel empowered in his or her new home. Talk to staff about ways they can support independence. For example, they may help your loved one to do something they enjoy—like cooking—on their own.

Overall, adjusting to this change takes some time. Don’t pressure yourself or your loved one. Eventually, your loved one will settle into his or her new routine. The best thing you can do is to simply be there—no matter what they feel or need.

Get to Know More About Autumn Leaves Assisted Living

It’s easier to make the transition to assisted living when you feel confident about the community. Autumn Leaves is dedicated to helping our residents and families feel supported and encouraged so that every resident can thrive. Contact us today or schedule a tour to find out more.