Moving to an assisted living community is a significant life change, and often, it’s one of the biggest you’ll experience. It’s important to understand that this life event can be emotional and scary.
Your loved one is likely moving to an unfamiliar place with new people, spaces, and routines. While assisted living frequently improves the quality of life through maintenance-free services, nursing care, dining options, and socialization opportunities, it still can be a challenging adjustment.
Fortunately, there are ways you can help your loved one feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. Discover 10 ways to ease the transition to assisted living.
10 Ways to Help Your Loved One Feel at Home in Assisted Living
1. Show patience and empathy toward your loved one.
Consider your loved one’s feelings about the move. They may feel like they’ve lost control and independence. Your loved one may be nervous about meeting new people and navigating life in a senior living community. Acknowledge their feelings by showing compassion and empathy.
2. Walk your loved one through the community.
Help your loved one get acclimated to the community by walking with them to dining venues, common areas, and other amenities they may visit frequently. Point out signage to make it easier for your loved one to find their destination. Encourage your loved one to ask residents or staff for assistance if they get lost.
3. Create a safe environment for your loved one.
Make sure your loved one’s apartment is free of trip hazards. Avoid using rugs and store electrical cords behind furniture or out of walkways. Motion-detection lighting is a great way to move safely at night. Show your loved one how to call for help in an emergency, whether by calling 911 or pushing a call button to alert the assisted living nursing team.
4. Give your loved one some space.
Let your loved one know they can reach out to you when they need to talk but encourage them to use resources at the assisted living community too. For example, your loved one can request maintenance or housekeeping services when needed. They can also discuss special requests or meal concerns with the dining director. Empower your loved one to remain as independent as possible.
5. Decorate the new residence with your loved one’s favorite things.
Encourage your loved one to bring their favorite things to their new apartment. This can include furniture, pictures, blankets, clothing, home décor, and more. You’ll want them surrounded by familiar items that evoke fond memories and comfort.
6. Encourage your loved one to attend activities that interest them.
Sit down with your loved one and review the upcoming activity calendar. Ask your loved one to circle programs and activities that interest them. Staying engaged with others through shared interests will likely help your loved one meet new friends and provide a sense of belonging.
7. Host neighbors for a social gathering.
Other residents can be a tremendous source of support for your loved one. Introduce yourself to neighbors, staff, and other residents you see in the common areas. Arrange a small social gathering in your loved one’s apartment or nearby lounge to get to know neighbors in a casual setting.
8. Plan regular visits with your loved one.
Create a schedule where friends and family can check in or visit your loved one. Your loved one will look forward to these calls or visits, and you can check in to see how they’re doing in their new space. During visits, friends and family can join your loved one for a meal or attend a special event.
9. Make it easy for your loved one to stay in touch with friends and family.
Set up simple ways for your loved one to connect with friends and family. You might create a favorite contact list on their cell phone or tablet. Show them how to make video calls using Zoom or FaceTime. Consider using a digital picture frame and ask friends and family to add photos of their recent adventures and activities.
10. Be available when your loved one needs you.
Expect good days and bad days from your loved one. They may adjust quickly to assisted living or struggle for a while. Knowing they can talk to someone they trust will likely ease their anxiety and reassure them that they’re not alone.
Follow these 10 tips to help your loved one adjust to life in an assisted living community. Once they feel at home and comfortable in their surroundings, they can embrace the benefits of assisted living and lead a more fulfilling life.
Life at Sonrisa Assisted Living
If you’re looking at options for senior living, we invite your family to visit Sonrisa Assisted Living, designed to support your loved ones to live their highest quality of life.
We offer studio and one-bedroom private apartments for our assisted living residents as well as private or shared memory care suites for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Our memory care residents are cared for by our compassionate and specially trained team — who meet them wherever they are in their journey with patience and kindness. The residents also have access to customized activities, programs, and an elevated secured courtyard.
Our amenities and services encourage our residents in assisted living to engage with others, remain as independent as possible, and be reassured that help is available whenever needed.
In addition to our personalized services, we offer:
- Assisted Living dining room, bistro and two sitting lounge/living room areas
- Memory Care living and dining room
- Elegantly designed common areas
- Fitness and wellness center with physical and occupational therapy room
- A commercial kitchen
- Barber and beauty salon in both assisted living and memory care areas
- 24-hour on-duty care staff
- Secured community
- Art room
- Multipurpose room
- Large state‐of‐the‐art theater
- A large secured Assisted Living and separate Memory Care courtyard with walking paths
- On‐grade parking for immediate use of visitors and staff
- Dog Park
If your family is considering retirement living, we hope you will visit Sonrisa Assisted Living. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a tour.
You may also download our complimentary brochure to get additional details about Sonrisa Assisted Living.