Resources - November 15, 2019
As your parents grow older, their health and safety may become a concern. When you see a decline in their health or a need for assistance, you naturally want to help. Preparing your parent to move into senior or assisted living community brings its own challenges, so how you approach the subject and the move itself is crucial. We work with people every day, helping to make their transitions as smooth as possible. With that experience in mind, we offer you the following.
Discussing the possibility of moving your parents to a senior living community can be difficult. If you know of friends or family members who have already gone through this, try reaching out to them first for tips and strategies. You might find a wonderful support system in addition to getting guidance on where to start and how best to proceed.
Deciding when to bring up the subject of transitioning to assisted living can be daunting. When your parent is having trouble with tasks or their health is deteriorating, it’s time to sit down and talk with them about your concerns. Centering the conversation on their specific needs helps them recognize and acknowledge the fact they may need assistance. Putting them at ease with the idea that we all need help now and then is important as well. The point of moving to a community is to make it possible to maintain more independence and freedom, not take it away.
How you communicate with your parents about moving can impact their reaction. Be sure to discuss why they are moving and involve them in the process so they get to be part of choosing where their new home will be. Leaving your home is an emotional decision, so it’s important to show support and allow your loved ones to make as many decisions as possible on their own.
By taking your parents to visit several senior living communities, they can see the variety of options and make a choice on their own, allowing them to maintain a sense of control. Touring these communities can also promote excitement and showcase all the amenities they will have access to as a resident. Knowing they can socialize, make new friends and find activities they enjoy can ease the transition process.
The actual moving process can create stress for your parents and create additional challenges. Moving out of their home is difficult enough, so it’s important to show compassion and patience when your parents are deciding which items to keep or donate.
It’s important to recognize the furniture and personal mementos your parents bring to their new community are what will keep their memories alive. If your parent is having a difficult time determining what items to bring with them, a helpful tip is to create a “maybe” pile in addition to the traditional “yes/no” piles. And as you sort through everything, it’s also a chance for you and them to talk about the happy memories each item holds for you.
If you’re thinking about helping your parent or family member move, we hope you’ll consider Goodwin House. Call us at 703.578.7201 for advice about helping your loved ones move or to schedule a visit to see what we have to offer.