Change is never easy, especially as we age, but it’s an integral part of all stages of life. Sometimes, we must make what feels like a like a disruptive decision in the short-term so that mom or dad can live more fulfilled lives in the near future.
The benefits of senior living include a more social environment, less time worrying about chores, medications or personal care, and a more active lifestyle. At first, it can be overwhelming for the family or stressful for your loved one to make the transition into a senior living community. But with these tips, you can help your loved one get through the difficulties of change and settle into a better life more quickly.
How to help a parent or loved one adjust to independent living or assisted living:
- Support autonomy whenever possible. Whether your loved one is more appropriate for independent living or assisted living, it’s always important to encourage independence. When deciding among senior living options, your loved one should be actively engaged in the decision process whenever possible. And when organizing personal items prior to the move, provide your loved one the space and time necessary to appreciate and prioritize these special possessions.
- Keep lifestyle routines consistent. Most people like to stick to the morning routine that sets them up for a great day. Just because your loved one is making a living change, that doesn’t mean that routines need to change significantly. If your mother likes to take a walk in the morning, help her find a scenic route around the walking paths at The Preserve at Clearwater. If she likes a coffee and a snack in the afternoon, just let the Culinary Director know and it will be our pleasure to make that accommodation.
- Stay in touch and encourage communication. After the move, keep in touch with your loved one without being overbearing. Maintain a regular call schedule so that your loved one knows when to expect to hear from you. It’s also a good idea to proactively share their new contact details with friends and family and invite them to see their new home. (A surprise gift or bouquet of flowers can also be a lovely way to let them know that you’re thinking of them.)
- Visit in person, too. Today’s senior living communities are anything but dull and dreary (these are nothing like your grandmother’s nursing home). The Preserve at Clearwater features a heated swimming pool, a lovely deck overlooking the water, gorgeous walking paths through the protected preserve, meals prepared by our Chef and most importantly fun and enriching resident programs. Friends and family always look forward to visiting their loved ones, because they can enjoy all of the amenities our community has to offer while spending time with the people who matter most.
- Establish a connection to familiar faces and traditions. The photos and keepsakes that remind us of the ones we love help us stay connected to our roots no matter where life takes us. While it can be unrealistic for your loved one to take all their possessions to their new home, it’s important to bring the most cherished items and place them where your loved one can enjoy them every day.
- Encourage Participation in Programs and Events. Often mom or dad are far too isolated while living alone. Thus it can be an adjustment while bonding with new friends over Happy Hour, learning a new hobby during the Gardening Club or challenging yourself physically during a Yoga Class. Tell us about your loved ones likes and dislikes, request a copy of the Monthly Resident Program Calendar and follow The Preserve at Clearwater on Facebook to stay actively engaged in the diverse offerings at the community.
The Preserve at Clearwater is a senior living community in Clearwater, Florida, (on the border of Dunedin, Florida) where seniors live with the support they need and the care they deserve. To see how the right senior living community can benefit your loved one, schedule a tour today using the form below. Our caring staff is here to answer any questions you and your family may have regarding assisted living or memory care.