Moving Mom Monday: Moving a Parent to Assisted Living – 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition

Mother and Daughter at Assisted Living Facility

In the article Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition, author Liz O’Donnell writes that moving a parent, even a willing one, into assisted living, or any senior living facility, is fraught with emotion:

“Your parents may mourn the loss of their younger years, their independence, the home they built. They could be scared about aging, making new friends, finding their way in a new place.

You may be mourning all of those things too. You may second-guess your decision. Did we act too quickly? Overreact? Wait too long? And you will feel guilt. Guilt is inevitable. Know that all of these feelings are normal and don’t need to last forever.”

12 strategies to keep in mind as you make the transition:

1. Give it time. Senior living experts say it typically takes between three and six months for someone to adjust to assisted living. That’s an average. It might be quicker; it may take longer. Stay focused on the reasons you made the decision (safety, health, security, sanity). Keeping the big picture in mind will help you through the rough patches.

2. Visit often, or not for two weeks. Only you know your parent, so only you can decide how best to assist them through the early weeks of the move. Many experts will tell you to visit as often as possible. Frequent visits can ease any stress your parent may have that they will be abandoned or lonely. It might be easier for them to meet people at activities or in the dining room if they have a companion with them. But if your parent is calling you several times a day, staying in their room, and waiting for you to show up and keep them company, you may need to give them some space in order to encourage them to branch out. When I went to college my parents wouldn’t let me come home to visit for the first few weeks. By forcing me to stay at school on the weekends, they forced me to make friends. Tough love – it can work both ways.

3. It takes a village. Mobilize yours. When we first moved my mother into assisted living, my sisters and I could not visit for a week or two. We had been staying with her before the move and needed to get back to work. Plus, our father was in the hospital. So I called my relatives and asked them to visit in our absence. Just as parenting takes a village, so does daughtering.

4. Expect setbacks. Just when you think you are over the hump and your parent is settling in, things will change. They will tell you they are lonely. They will decide they don’t like their new dining hall friends. They will ask to go home. These moments are heart wrenching but knowing that they are normal and that they will pass, can help get you through them.

Read more strategies at Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: 4 Expert Tips for Seniors Moving to Assisted Living

Elderly Man with Nurse in Assisted Living Setting

Moving to assisted living can be an overwhelming experience for both you and your older adult. In the article “4 Expert Tips for Seniors Moving to Assisted Living,” Arthur Bretschneider, founder and CEO of Seniorly, a company that makes it easier for families to find local senior housing options, provides advice on four common issues related to moving into and living in assisted living:

Question 1: Seniors who refuse to move
What should families do if their older adult needs to move to assisted living for their own health and safety, but they refuse to go?

Answer:
This is a very difficult situation. The first thing to do is get their primary care physician involved. Sometimes it’s also good to get a Geriatric Care Manager or some other care advocate to help you in this situation. They’re professionals who understand how to get control of the crisis.

Many times, getting a third party involved is not an option. In this case, families need to present this as an option that their senior is going to rather than from. Meaning, frame the move in a way that it’s better than where the individual is now.

They aren’t moving away from their home, they are moving to a community that will give them more control of their days and remove the need to worry about other things.

Question 2: Ease the transition to assisted living
Moving to assisted living is a big change for most older adults. What can families do to make the transition easier?

Answer:
Every family is unique and there is no straight answer to this question. In fact, some transitions are not difficult at all.

For the ones that do have difficulty transitioning, things that could help include:

  • Making their new room or apartment feel as homelike as possible
  • Being around to assist in the transition (or sometimes the opposite depending on the individual)
  • Keeping the individual connected with a phone, tablet, or computer
  • Visiting during meals or activities to help make connections

Or it could be as simple as making sure you find a community that allows them to keep their pet.

Read additional tips at 4 Expert Tips for Seniors Moving to Assisted Living.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: Moving a Parent to Assisted Living – 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition

Elderly Lady with Nurse at Assisted Living Facility

In her article “Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition,” author Liz O’Donnell writes how “moving a parent, even a willing one, into assisted living, or any senior living facility, is fraught with emotion.”

Liz offers some tips on how to help make the transition easier on everyone involved:

Give it time. Senior living experts say it typically takes between three and six months for someone to adjust to assisted living. That’s an average. It might be quicker; it may take longer. Stay focused on the reasons you made the decision (safety, health, security, sanity). Keeping the big picture in mind will help you through the rough patches.

Visit often, or not for two weeks. Only you know your parent, so only you can decide how best to assist them through the early weeks of the move. Many experts will tell you to visit as often as possible. Frequent visits can ease any stress your parent may have that they will be abandoned or lonely. It might be easier for them to meet people at activities or in the dining room if they have a companion with them. But if your parent is calling you several times a day, staying in their room, and waiting for you to show up and keep them company, you may need to give them some space in order to encourage them to branch out. When I went to college my parents wouldn’t let me come home to visit for the first few weeks. By forcing me to stay at school on the weekends, they forced me to make friends. Tough love – it can work both ways.

It takes a village. Mobilize yours. When we first moved my mother into assisted living, my sisters and I could not visit for a week or two. We had been staying with her before the move and needed to get back to work. Plus, our father was in the hospital. So I called my relatives and asked them to visit in our absence. Just as parenting takes a village, so does daughtering.

Expect setbacks. Just when you think you are over the hump and your parent is settling in, things will change. They will tell you they are lonely. They will decide they don’t like their new dining hall friends. They will ask to go home. These moments are heart wrenching but knowing that they are normal and that they will pass, can help get you through them.

Read more tips at Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition.

====

DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582