Arranging a move into a retirement home/community, assisted living center or senior living home isn't necessarily easy, but it doesn't have to be a giant chore, either. As it turns out, holidays can be good occasions to make these moves as families often are already gathered to celebrate. So with additional family members already around, it can be a great time to help move senior relatives.
Keep reading for tips on how to make the move and transition easier.
Plan in Advance
Complications of paperwork, choosing an apartment and/or moving possessions can be made less complicated by the presence of extra hands and able bodies. Comfort can be taken in knowing that people's schedules won't be stretched and/or unplanned absences won't be a problem by arranging your move at the time of a holiday. Planning moves in advance and arranging things step-by-step will ease the burden on anyone having to manage this process alone or with just one other person. Being able to get things done quicker means you'll have more time to celebrate the holidays and can probably even commemorate them in the new home.
Help your loved one(s) pack their things rather than simply tell them what to bring with them. This can help them work through their emotions about moving with a friendly face, rather than with a roar of mandates being shouted over their heads. You can also help your senior relatives be more comfortable letting go of their current home by having some kind of meaningful farewell, such as a family dinner or a lunch with close neighbors.
When moving on a holiday, it's best to start early so that family and friends are able to make follow-up visits the next day or days to make sure the transition is going smoothly. If the home has a community that's celebrating during the days on which you're moving, perhaps there will be time for seniors to join in the celebration. This can be a great way for them to meet other members of the community and establish good relations from the first day. Community gatherings and activities are often at the heart of many such homes, and these occasions are a perfect time for your senior relatives to introduce yourself and get to know everyone there.
Create a Familiar Environment
This is going to be your loved ones new home, so it should feel like home to them. Don't rush any decisions on what to bring and not to bring, as they likely have very personal, emotional ties to them. You might want to err on the side of caution and bring more than what you think is necessary, as you can always discard items later or move them into storage. These items can comfort them in their new home, so use them to create a familiar environment for your senior relative.
Work with the Facility
Whether on Passover, Chanukah or Purim, most holidays are good days for effecting your moving plans. Be sure to let the home know your schedule in advance, so they can anticipate and work around your timetable for all of the paperwork and formalities that come with a move. Always check the hours of the home and the agenda for any community activities so you won't interrupt any plans or break up any gatherings organized for the same days or times.
While you're there, get to know the staff that will be working with your loved on. Familiarize yourself with each of them and their roles, and ask what you can do to help while your loved one is staying there. This will help make sure you know who is taking care of your family members and know who to call if you have any questions or concerns.