Emotionally Preparing For Assisted Living As A Family
The move into assisted living can be an emotional decision and process for everyone. From sorting through possessions to adjusting to a new living environment, you want to be emotionally prepared to offer understanding and support to your loved one moving into assisted living.
Typically, the first challenging decisions of moving arise when organizing possessions to take to their new home and those to leave behind. The sentimental nature of this process makes it harder to let certain things go or to logically separate what is needed versus what is not.
Knowing how to help ease the more difficult days and lighten up the overall mood can make what is normally a delicate transition into a positive and bonding one. Here are some important ways to prepare for assisted living as a family, managing the emotional and physical aspects of transitioning.
Related Article: Free Assisted Living Transition Guide For Caregivers
Tips To Emotionally Prepare For Assisted Living
1 – Let your loved one set the pace
Compassion goes a long way. If you can, plan for a longer timeline than you would normally estimate so that your loved one can properly go through all the things and also emotionally process everything at their own pace. Be relinquishing control over the pace of the downsizing process, you provide a safe space to address unexpected roadblocks. Emphasize that this is their time and their transition; the order in which they want to go through their belongings and decide what to keep is up to them. You are a collaborator in helping them simplify their life, not an enforcer.
2 – Listen to stories and write them down
A great way to help preserve the memories of items that may need to be left behind is to develop a ritual you and your loved one can do together. A memory is strengthened each time you recount the narrative, re-live the details, and feel the emotions associated with it. Over time, the memory will live on much longer than any material item. Try this: Celebrate memories by asking your loved one to retell the story, while you write it down in a journal, draw some of the items related to it, and release that memory to then live on in that new home. They can take a journal with them and continue to fill it up in their new home. When we feel like items are separate from the corresponding memories, it becomes easier to part from the physical materials.
3 – Help set boundaries
When asked, help direct them back on course if something is distracting their attention or bringing back negative emotions. Watch for cues that they are having trouble deciding on a particular item or overthinking others. While letting them set their timeline for the move, help them by making sure they stay on schedule. If a section of the house is too overwhelming, move to something easier, and revisit it after a couple days. Or simply section it up into chunks and tackle a bit each day together.
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4 – Celebrate small milestones
Finally, celebrate the small wins. Rewarding each completed task with a positive affirmation or ritual together can make moving into independent living manageable, intimate, and a chance to start making new memories.
If you’re looking for a stellar assisted living community for your loved one, look no further. Contact Stellar Senior Living today for more information about our assisted living facilities nationwide. Click here to find a facility near you or give us a call at 801.495.7000.
Stellar Senior Living, a family owned and operated senior living network, has been recognized as one of the premier providers of Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Respite Care nationwide. At Stellar, we take great pride in each of our communities, and in every single resident. We believe senior living is about more than healthcare. It’s about family. Come take a tour and feel the Stellar difference today.