Moving into an assisted living community can be a challenging experience, for both the new resident and those who want to help with ease the transition. There’s much you can do that will bring comfort in those first days, and it starts with making your loved one's room feel like a little slice of home.
The Best Housewarming Present is YOU
The first few weeks are when your time will be especially valuable to loved ones. Ignore advice from well-meaning friends who assert that older people need to learn “the hard way” how to be independent in their new surroundings.
On the contrary, this period is when you can help your family member prepare for independence. Assist in arranging his or her schedule with the community’s professional staff and other activity coordinators. Your loved one might need help communicating preferred daily routines and medication issues, for example. Additionally, you’re more likely than a staff member to know what little details matter when setting up the apartment or studio space.
A Taste of Home
Professional caregivers report that residents often do best when they have familiar objects around them. Whether it’s a rocker or a recliner, most people have a favorite chair from home in which they like to read, do crafts or watch television. Familiar throws and cushions make things cozier, too.
Photos of family and friends are also crucial, both framed portraits your loved one already displays, as well as ones you have made for her to enjoy in her new home. Not only will their presence be comforting, but you can tactfully refer to them during your visits to help ease memory issues.
Often many familiar items don’t take up much space, especially when they can replace the items provided by the facility. A bedspread or crocheted blanket from home is a classic example, as are clocks, personal awards and smaller furniture items like bookcases.
Appliances that add to your family member’s comfort level will also do much to keep them physically and mentally engaged. Radios and televisions are links to the outside world, especially ones with large dials and buttons and easily-understood controls.
In smaller living quarters, a “dorm” refrigerator can make a big difference in a resident’s comfort and independence. Help stock it with goodies that will give the resident access to healthy, familiar foods.
If you live near your loved one, offering your own home to store holiday items and seasonal clothing is extremely helpful. In this way, you can bring over ornaments, holiday china and festive clothing at the appropriate time. Similarly, summer clothing, gardening gear and planters can be rotated in and out of your loved one’s assisted living home.
This service on your part is certainly a space-saver for people moving to smaller homes. But even more importantly, you’ll help your aging relative feel connected with the changing seasons and keep up with the traditions that are most important to him or her.
If you’d like to learn more about helping a special person transition into an assisted living community, contact us for more information. A dedicated member of our team will be in touch to help you schedule a tour and find out more about how Beverly Hills Carmel can help your loved one feel right at home. Don't forget to Like us on Facebook to stay connected with the Beverly Hills Carmel community.