Life changes can be some of the biggest stressors one may experience. Learning an unfamiliar routine and settling into something new can be scary at first, no matter your age. This is especially true when a senior is preparing for the move into assisted living.
This change comes with a great deal of planning and hard decisions that must be made. Considering that most Americans who turn 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives, preparing for this transition is something that cannot be avoided.
Not sure what you should know before moving into assisted living? Keep reading and learn how to find the perfect facility for your loved one and what you can do to help them during the move.
Finding the right place
Before you begin choosing an assisted living facility, you should first consider whether assisted living is an appropriate choice for your loved one. Think about how independent your loved one is. Do they just need help with basic tasks, or do they need regular medical observation? Assisted living is intended for those who are mostly independent and who do not need any memory care for issues like dementia. As you start to look at facilities, check that your loved one meets the set qualifications.
Once you’ve begun exploring assisted living facilities, you’ll likely have many questions you want to ask. These may include:
- What amenities are included? You don’t want your loved one to be bored from sitting around all day, or to be isolated from meeting others. A good assisted living facility will have plenty for your loved one to do, from community outings to exercise and more.
- How are you paying for it? Diving into assisted living without looking into the costs can be a dangerous move. It’s easy to get into debt without the right financial preparation. Options can include private pay, loans or some forms of insurance. Once you’re interested in a facility, be sure to ask about their prices and payment options.
- What is your backup plan? What are you going to do if the needs of your loved one change? If you’re concerned that there could be a drastic change in needs in a short period of time, consider a facility that can also handle more advanced care. Even if this isn’t an immediate concern, you should still have a backup plan in place should things worsen.
You’ll want to tour several places to get a feel for what would be best for your loved one. Use a checklist to make sure that all of your needs are met when choosing an assisted living facility.
Planning the move
As with any move that you’ll make, moving into an assisted living facility means choosing what’s going with you to the new place and what can be stored or trashed. If you’re moving from a home to a facility, you’ll likely have far less space and should plan accordingly. Check with the assisted living facility to see how much furniture is provided for you to avoid bringing too much or too little.
While you’re preparing to move, think about how your things are getting from point A to point B. If possible, you may use moving trucks and the help of others for a cheaper solution. If you’re unable to move all of your belongings, you could consider the use of movers. This can also depend on the distance you are moving. If it is a fairly short trip, you will likely have lower costs. For a longer move, the costs can stack up quickly.
You should also plan for where you intend to keep any extra belongings. For things you can’t fathom getting rid of, you might use a storage facility or have a family member or friend keep it. Other items may be sold or donated depending on their quality. While it can be difficult deciding what can come with you, it’s important to prioritize to save space and time while moving.
Moving into your new home
Moving in is the last step before transitioning into your new life in assisted living. While most of the heavy lifting (literally!) is done once you’ve moved, there are still several things you should do to make your move-in a smooth process:
- Make sure you know their policies. You have probably read over their policies several times by now, but one last read through before move-in day can help refresh your brain. Check any last minute paperwork and make sure you’re shared all relevant documents with them so you can move in without any last minute hiccups.
- Ask for the help of others. Moving is a massive task by itself, so asking for help can alleviate some of the stress. There may be errands that need to be run on move-in day, so having some extra hands on deck means getting things done more efficiently.
- Personalize your new place. Your first day in a new home can be overwhelming. The blankness of the walls can make you feel isolated and trapped in an unfamiliar place. Adding your favorite items and mementos to your new living space can quickly help you feel like it’s more of a home.
- Meet others in your community. Don’t close yourself off to meeting new friends in a new living arrangement. In fact, new friends can be a great resource for you as you adapt to a new place and can help you while making the transition.
Moving into assisted living can create a wide variety of emotional reactions in your loved one. Know that they will need more support during this time and always lend a helping hand while you can.
Do you have any questions about how to prepare your loved one for the transition into assisted living? Contact us at Culpepper Place.
We can help you navigate this life change with the respect and care that you and your loved one deserve.