Tips for Seniors Dealing with the Transition from Home to Assisted Living
Karen Weeks, Guest Author
One million — that’s the number of seniors who are currently living in an assisted living facility, and that number is expected to double in the next 10 years. What’s more, many of the seniors living in assisted living moved there from their own home, according to American Seniors Communities (ASC). This sort of transition is an emotional one, and rightfully so. However, there are ways seniors can ease the move and thrive in their new environment.
It Isn’t One Size Fits All
When it comes to assisted living communities, the good news is that no two are alike. If you’re worried, you’ll have to give up on your current lifestyle to reside in the humdrum assisted living facility you’ve dreamed up in your head, then think again. There are many facilities out there to meet your needs, whether it is one that offers certain social activities, boasts a stellar wellness program, or is welcoming of your pet. Find one that meets your current and future needs, as well as meets your budget; in the San Diego area, for example, typical prices range from $1,500 to $10,900 per month, according to A Place for Mom. The large range is an indicator of the vast amenities each offers, so keep this in mind.
Know What to Look For
Having to leave home wasn’t your first choice, so don’t make the first facility you tour your first choice either. You need to take your time with the process to ensure you will be absolutely content and happy in your new home. Modern Retirement recommends making sure that the facility fits your lifestyle and budget, as well as ensuring that it’s in close proximity to doctors and grocery stores. If something doesn’t feel right, go with your gut and move on to the next one.
Make Your Room Feel Like Home
With this move comes the need to downsize your possessions, but you certainly don’t have to get rid of everything. Make a list of the items you want to take with you. Visit your new room or apartment and create a vision for how you want it to look and the ways you’ll add your own personal style to create that homey feel. Surround yourself with creature comforts such as your favorite recliner, blanket, or books, and put up plenty of photos of family and friends. Add pops of cheerful color via pillows and artwork and inquire about the possibility of painting the walls.
Create a Personal Transportation Plan
If you are unable to drive, you may be worried that you won’t be able to continue with the activities and routines you have established. Many assisted living facilities provide transportation services, but you may need additional options if the service doesn’t work with your schedule. To create your transportation plan, determine if a family member or friend could drive you. Look into shuttle or car services in the area, as well as public transportation. There are ridesharing services for seniors as well such as GoGoGrandparent, Lyft, and Uber.
Family Involvement Is Important
Such a big move can be scary, which is why having family involvement and support both during and after the move is important. This includes more than just regular visits, although those are good too. Your family and friends are your advocates to ensure you are getting the care you want and assist you in getting past any roadblocks or issues. Family and friends are a huge part of regular socialization as well. Encourage them to schedule regular visits and put up a calendar in your room so that you can look forward to outings, activities, and birthdays.
Moving into assisted living might not be your first preference, but you can enjoy happiness in your new home. It’s an emotional time, so remind yourself that it’s okay to grieve your old home. However, with these tips, you can make the transition to assisted living a positive one.
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For those interested in contacting our Guest Speaker on the Radio episode, Dying a Peaceful Death, Dr. Faye Girsh can be reached at www.HemlockSocietyofSanDiego.com
This Weeks' Recommendations
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