Easing The Relocation To Assisted Living For Your Parent

You and your parent have accepted the idea that he or she would benefit from moving to an apartment at an assisted living facility. Nevertheless, you're worried that your parent will not handle the transition well. Fortunately, research indicates that older individuals bounce back pretty quickly if at first they feel depressed after a move to assisted living. You can implement some strategies to make the move easier psychologically and emotionally.

Relevant Research

A study published in 2001 evaluated psychological and physical reactions among older adults when voluntarily moving to a senior living facility. The researchers found that these persons generally experienced some level of decreased vigor and more intrusive thoughts than usual. The effects lasted from one month before the move to at least two weeks after moving, but generally disappeared within three months after the move. 

The researchers did not find much evidence of a negative impact on the immune system during this time, as evidenced by blood tests. Any impact they found was substantially reduced within three months. 

This is good news if you're concerned about any negative effects on your parent's emotional and physical health connected with moving.

Strategies to Ease the Transition

Move the Things Your Parent Values Most

The new apartment may be much smaller than your parent's current living space, especially if he or she is still residing at the family home. Work together to determine which furniture and other belongings are most important to have transported to the new place. If there simply isn't room for everything your parent wants to keep, perhaps you could move those other possessions to your place or to another relative's house.

You'll want the new apartment to be as homey as possible to create a smooth transition and reduce any feelings of homesickness. 

Maintain Regular Contact

You and other close family members, as well as your parent's friends, should visit often. That's especially important at first if this individual doesn't know anybody at the new place of residence.

However, you'll want to give your parent some space as well. He or she needs the chance to meet new friends, and is less likely to do so if visitors are always there. After the first week or so, instead of visiting every day, use the phone sometimes. 

Focus on the Positive

If your parent has trouble adjusting at first, focus on the positive aspects of this new living arrangement. He or she will have the attention needed from care assistants and nurses, will not have to worry about property maintenance, and can enjoy nutritious, tasty meals without having to cook. There will probably be many more opportunities to socialize with other seniors than was true before; disabled seniors living on their own commonly become somewhat isolated. 

Concluding Thoughts

You know this is the right decision. With attention to what your parent needs emotionally, along with a positive attitude about the move, you can help make this transition go as smoothly as possible. For more tips, contact a facility such as Alpine Manor Home For Adults to see what they recommend.