Your aging parents might eventually come to a point in their lives they need more help than you can offer. If the time comes they require the help of an assisted living facility, you’ve got your work cut out for you finding a place they can afford, that offers the care they need, and that they love. You also need to find a way to make the transition a bit simpler for them. It’s a big change in their lives, and it’s one that can be overwhelming for your aging parents.
Encourage them to Keep an Open Mind
The biggest factor that allows your parents to feel more comfortable during this transition is encouraging them to keep an open mind. An open mind is better than a closed mind with predetermined notions of what to expect. An open mind gives your parents permission to enjoy their new life, and it doesn’t make them feel guilty.
Let Them Be Involved
Don’t choose a home for your family. Let them choose it themselves. Let your parents be involved every step of the way if you want them to be happy. They should find the home that best suits their needs and makes them feel at home, and your job is to help from that point.
When it’s time to move in, make sure your parents have their favorite items. They won’t get to take their entire home with them, but their favorite items are a must. Encourage them to decorate their new space with their beloved items, and go so far as to frame a few new photos of the kids they’ve yet to see. It’s a nice surprise.
Plan Move-in Day as An All Day Event
When your parents are moving in, plan to be there all day. It’s the most intimidating day of all, and you should be there to help. Don’t rush out and leave them behind. Be there for all the meals, an evening walk, and to see how it is. Point out the good, and have a good time with your parents while you’re there.
One of the biggest fears many people have when it’s time to move into an assisted living facility is they won’t see their family as often. Go visit. Spring them for the day to come to your home and spend time with you there. Be present, and be there for your family as often as possible.
Listen to Them
If your parents have concerns or they are excited about something, listen to them. You’re going to learn a lot more about them this way, and you’re going to feel better or more helpful in their situation. Let them speak, and take the time to hear what they have to say so you can really help them with their new home.
Assisted living is designed to help those who can no longer fully help themselves. Your parents might not like it, and they might not want to go, but they need an open mind. Just as important as their own open mind, you also need an open mind and the realization this might not be the smoothest process. It might take time for them to feel at home.