Navigating the Transition

When it’s time to move to a senior living community, there are a lot of emotions involved. This can be a difficult change in a senior’s life, and the lives of their family members. Adult children may be nervous about suggesting the move to their parents, and senior parents may feel they don’t need to move, or they may think it’s a hassle.

These feelings are natural, and as a senior getting ready to make the transition, it’s important to understand how they can be managed.

Converse. Address any key issues you may be having, such as mobility issues, health issues, or difficulty with everyday activities. Listen and respect what your family members and loved ones believe is best for you and have an open dialogue for the greatest outcomes.

Prepare. You’ve probably been living in your house for a number of years. Set aside some time to truly enjoy your home, whether that means having friends over for dinner, or spending an afternoon in the garden. Create some memories to take with you to your new home.

Decorate. When you get to your new home, fill the space with items old and new. Make plans to decorate the new apartment with items from your current home, but also mix in a few new items as well. New items can be a reminder that the new home has the potential for new, exciting experiences.

Plan. Now that you have a new home, it’s time to invite people to visit! Plan ahead with family and friends and get them to visit regularly to make your transition smooth. If you’re used to a certain activity, such as a weekly lunch with a family member, try to stick to that routine. But don’t have visitors too often, because you’ll want to spend time socializing with new friends at the senior community.

As a family member, be encouraging to your loved one during this time. Continue to talk openly with them and encourage them to engage in activities and social opportunities at the senior community. Speak with staff members regularly to stay current on how your loved one is adjusting to their new home.

During the initial conversations about the transition, consider visiting a senior living professional to help you. There are many resources in your area that can provide you with assistance with planning or moving to make it easier for everyone involved.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Mike Lapinsky. Mike Lapinsky is the Marketing Director at Traditions of Hershey Independent Living and Personal Care.