As the new caregiver, it’s important to help your loved one adjust to their senior care community. By taking steps to make them feel at home, they can enjoy a happy life in a safe environment.
Some families decorate their loved ones’ apartments with new furniture and decorations. However, keeping familiar items can be more beneficial.
Being patient is one of the most important things you can do for your loved one as they adjust to their new care. You may experience various emotions, from frustration to sadness, but staying positive and supporting your loved one through this transition is essential.
Your tone and reassuring words can significantly impact how your loved one adapts to their new care environment. Be consistent and firm with your decisions to help them feel supported, and avoid letting negative feelings sour the entire process.
Limiting any other big changes in your life during this time is also a good idea. Your aging parent may need you more than usual, and any other big changes could make them feel overwhelmed and upset by the transition. It’s also a good idea to find a caregiving partner so you can delegate tasks to someone else when needed to take some time for yourself.
During the first week at their new community senior care in St. Augustine, your loved one will meet with caregivers, nurses, social workers, and fitness professionals. They will also have opportunities to attend activities with their peers. It will allow them to get acquainted with their neighbors, which can be a great way for them to feel at home in their new care environment.
While it is important to encourage your loved one to make new friends, it’s also important to keep in touch with old friends and family members. Keeping in regular contact can mitigate concerns about losing their family connection and support system, as well as prevent depression, which is a common issue for seniors who move to long-term care communities.
Finding a long-term care community that will suit your aging loved one’s needs is important. Doing your research will help you find a place that has amenities and services they enjoy. You should also look for a location convenient for you and your loved ones to visit frequently. It’s also a good idea for you to schedule tours of the facility together so your loved one can confidently choose their future home.
Establish New Routines
In many cases, a senior’s health will decline, so they can no longer care for themselves without assistance. It can be a difficult transition for family members, who may not know how to discuss it with their loved ones.
The best way to help your loved one adjust to their new environment is to set up a routine for visiting and caregiving. Establishing a schedule will give your loved one a sense of consistency and security, which will help them feel more at home in their assisted living facility.
Start by establishing daily tasks like eating, taking medications, and sleeping schedules. It will ensure your loved one can follow their routine, even when you cannot visit them. Once you’ve established a plan, stick to it for at least a week. It will allow you to observe how your loved one responds to the program and make any necessary adjustments.
Knowing your loved one’s mood during the transition is also important. You might notice that they seem irritable, upset, or withdrawn. Try to recognize their emotions and provide support, but don’t be overbearing or pushy.
You can also help your loved one adjust to their new lifestyle by encouraging them to participate in activities they enjoy. Introducing them to new friends and neighbors can make them feel at home in their community and less isolated.
In addition, you can help them feel more comfortable by introducing them to their caregivers. Look for an agency that can match your loved one with a caregiver who will get to know them well and make them feel comfortable.
Visit your loved one often, but don’t overdo it. If you are always there, they might feel like they are being replaced and will soon want to return to their old lifestyle. Make sure to communicate with the staff at their new community to learn about your loved one’s care needs and to find out what days and times are best for visits.
Provide Emotional Support
Providing emotional support can help your loved one feel more connected. It can also dispel some negative feelings of aging, such as fearing a fall or a medical emergency without someone to help. It can also make them feel less like a burden to you and more valued for their contribution to the family.
For example, if your senior is experiencing a lot of stress or anxiety in their new environment, talk to them about it and help them find ways to alleviate that feeling. It may include making arrangements to visit more often, enlisting other family members to spend time with them, and even installing a medical alert system so they can contact you if they feel unwell or have an accident.
Emotional needs are sometimes overlooked when it comes to elder care, but it’s important that your elderly loved one feels seen and heard. Try to listen attentively when they talk and avoid interrupting them.
Additionally, if your senior isn’t enjoying their new lifestyle, try to uncover the root cause of that unhappiness. It might be the unfamiliarity of their surroundings, or they may just be lonely. Encouragement to attend communal activities, such as book clubs, group fitness classes, or bingo games, can help boost their happiness and well-being. Another way to help your loved one emotionally adjust is to introduce them to the staff in their new community. Take them around to meet the directors, coordinators, and caregivers working with them daily. Knowing each of these people will give your senior a sense of connection to their community and build trust that they’re in good hands with the people looking after them. You can also encourage your loved one to get involved in a hobby or activity they were familiar with before moving into their new home, such as a knitting group or the senior center’s weekly shopping day. It will help them regain a sense of identity and self-worth.
Encourage Your Loved One to Make New Friends
Many seniors need help moving into a long-term care facility. They fear they will lose their independence or that they will be isolated from family and friends. However, their emotions usually turn to relief when they realize they can continue living a happy life in a safe community while being well cared for.
If you are concerned about your aging loved one’s happiness in their new home, it is important to communicate regularly with them. Discussing their feelings and listening to their concerns can help them get through this difficult transition. Additionally, talking about your thoughts and feelings can allow you to discover why they are having trouble adapting to their new environment.
Try to encourage your loved one to socialize with others in the community. Getting to know their neighbors can help them feel less alone and scared. Many assisted living and nursing homes offer group classes, games, events, and meals that are a great way to connect with others. Encourage your senior to participate in these activities to meet new people and make friends.
While making new connections, it is also important that your aging parent continues to visit family and old friends. Try to devise a schedule of when you can see them and ensure they stay connected to everyone who is a big part of their life.
In the weeks following your loved one’s move, it is a good idea to meet with the caregivers who will be involved in their care. Getting acquainted with their names and faces can help them feel more comfortable and allow them to ask questions about any aspect of the transition that they are struggling with. Talking with a counselor can also be beneficial for those who have resistance or anxiety to the move. An experienced counselor can help them understand and work through their feelings. It can help ease the stress and make the transition a more pleasant experience for all involved. This will also allow you to learn techniques your counselor uses to help your loved ones deal with these issues.