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Making the transition to assisted living can be a difficult one, but there are some things you can do to help your loved one to become more comfortable with this decision. Work with the staff at the assisted living facility, and use these ideas to help ease the transition.
Partner With Packing
While you may have to do a majority of the packing and sorting of your loved one's personal items, it's important that you work together on this project. Your relative may become upset if you take control of his or her personal items. Set aside a few days to help with packing and sorting, and let him or her decide what you should do with each item. Be sure to reinforce the fact that some items can be put into storage for safekeeping, so your loved one does not need to worry about items that won't fit into the new living quarters at the assisted living facility.
Discuss the Transition Honestly
It's a good idea to sit down and have an honest conversation about the transition. Discuss what the assisted living facility has to offer, as well as any concerns your loved one might have about moving to this new place. In some cases, there may be things you can do to help alleviate some concerns. For example, if your relative doesn't want to share meals in a cafeteria with other residents, talk to the facility about having meals served in the room. However, it's important not to promise things that aren't possible. Your loved one should have realistic expectations for what his or her new life in the facility will entail. This will help to prevent disappointment and possible resentment over the new living arrangements.
Reinforce Your Support Network
Your loved one may be concerned about being lonely or not having family available for support. Reinforce your support network by partnering with other family members. You can create a schedule for visits so your relative in assisted living has plenty of company each week, and you can assign one day each week or month for shopping. Take your loved one with you on shopping trips to the local department or discount store to purchase essential items, such as clothes or personal hygiene products. When surrounded by the love and support of family, your relative can feel a bit more at ease with leaving his or her home.
The staff at the assisted living facility can also help you to create a transition plan that works for everyone involved. This plan might include a schedule for orientation at the new facility, a move-in date, and targets for participation in community activities. Use this plan as a guide during the move, and include your loved one in any conversations about his or her future. If you have more questions, visit http://graceseniorcommunity.com/.