Transition can be especially hard for seniors. Not only are they nervous about something new but moving to a new environment can also make them feel like they are losing both their home and their sense of identity. Help your family and yourself by reviewing these ideas on how to simplify the transition process. Prior to beginning your search
Plant the idea of moving early on. Take things slow and get your parent(s) accustomed to the idea. Remember, any kind of change can be horribly scary. Promote open communication and positive dialog. Talk about how the move may promote more independence without the maintenance of a house. Also, talk about the opportunity for increased involvement in activities with other people. Most importantly, be prepared. Plan ahead. Don't wait for a crisis to hit that forces you to rush the decision.
While you are searching
Choose a home that reflects and meets the social physical needs of your family member. Let your family member be involved with the process as much as possible. Avoid making them feel like theyve lost control. The more input they have in the process, from the choice of the facility to the furniture arrangement, the more easily they will adjust to their new home.
After you have made a selection
Dont rush the move. Reduce the tension by having the whole family come together and work through the downsizing process. Allow and encourage your parent to say good-bye to the old and have the whole family encourage them to look forward to the new. Let the professionals who work in these communities assist you. They will help you with the transition process and they know how to deal with it. Have a member of the community establish a relationship with your parent by dropping by for a visit. Then take your parent to visit that nice person for a meal and or an activity when you are out and about. Ease your parent into the move by going with them on an outing or activity hosted by the facility. Your presence may help soothe some of those first time insecurities. make an effort to fine another resident to shares similar interests or backgrounds. Make an introduction, so that they know at least one person to chat with during meals or activities. Place favorite treasures such as, furniture, pictures and mementos in the new environment to evoke a sense of home.
This article was provided by Lloyd and Debbie Hussar, owners of Oasis Senior Advisors. They can be reached at 208-229-4070, or visit treasurevalley.oasissenioradvisors.com