Making the decision to choose senior living is difficult enough. And a transition into senior living can also be an overwhelming process for both the family and the new residents. But Priority Life Care staff is here to help!
As you decide on the right community, we suggest the following ways that will help adjust to living in a new home.
It’s an easier move if you can have a positive interaction at the community prior to move-in. Look over the dining menus and activities calendar and choose something that both you and your loved one will enjoy. Ask the executive director if you can spend the afternoon with your loved one participating in lunch and an activity. You may even ask if there is a resident ambassador at the community who can join you and show you around. We find seniors to be more at ease when there are familiar faces when they move in.
To ease the transition into senior living, bring personal effects from home that will create a warm and calming atmosphere in their new apartment. Showcase important or sentimental decorations, like family photos or artwork. To give a sense of freshness, add new effects like window treatments and fluffy towels. Although it can be hard for some seniors to downsize, bring purposeful furniture and be conscious of leaving enough space to easily move about the apartment.
Chances are there will be so many questions answered at admission that you might forget some of the answers. Don’t worry, this is normal. From knowing when the dining room is open to what day is laundry done to what to do in an emergency, it’s a good idea to go over these items once the apartment is put together and you can sit calmly and review. Our community handbook that you receive upon admission is a great start to answering any questions you may have. You may even choose to visit with the admissions person, if you wish. Scheduling time with the executive director is also available to answer your questions.
Encourage your loved one introduce themselves to their neighbors and anyone else they may see in the community.
An ambassador program is also available at most Priority Life Care communities where a current resident is assigned to new residents. The ambassador will help the new resident get acquainted with the community through sharing meals together, enjoying activities together, and introducing the new senior to current residents.
During the first week of the transition into senior living, your loved one will meet with different staff from all of the community’s departments. During the assessment, both you and your loved one will be a part of creating the care plan in which the caregivers will adhere to. Staff from activities and dining departments will want to know your resident’s likes, dislikes, allergies, and more. It’s a good time to be open and ask questions to feel more comfortable with the new surroundings.
The Priority Life Care Life Enrichment programming is based on resident interests and participation. Programming is designed to enrich the mind, body and soul. Encourage your loved one to participate in activities, even if they normally wouldn’t partake – this is the perfect place to meet new friends. Together, residents can share new experiences that supports their overall wellbeing. Joining a club of a specific interest or hobby will put seniors in touch with similar interests. Most communities have book clubs, gardening clubs, men’s groups, spiritual groups, and card playing groups. We find that additional activities that people love are Pet therapy, Music for Wellness, Wii, brain games, arts and crafts and, of course, BINGO!
Just because you live in a community doesn’t mean you are restricted from your outside life. Eat out, visit with family, and give back to society! Most Priority Life Care communities offer outside trips for shopping, dining, sporting events, museums, and other local sites. Communities may also offer volunteer opportunities to help stay connected to your community and make it a better place.
Using these 7 tips, the transition into senior living does not need to be overwhelming. Communication is key along with the enthusiasm for trying new hobbies/activities and meeting new friends!