Helping Parents Transition to Assisted Living

Did you know the majority of seniors would prefer to age in place, that is, stay in their beloved homes as they age? No wonder moving to an assisted living community can be difficult.

If you’re helping loved ones make this change, be aware of how significant this move is to them. Your loved ones may be mourning the loss of independence, feeling apprehensive about meeting new people or feeling overwhelmed by downsizing.

Here are suggestions for how you can help ease this transition.


Give it time

If you’re wondering how long it takes to adjust to an assisted living community, the answer is, “It depends.” It depends on the individuals, their personalities, health, and so on. It also depends on the community and how good the staff is at integrating new folks into activities, routines, etc.

The one thing that’s sure is that the adjustment will take some time and effort, so encourage your loved ones to be patient and positive.


Don’t hover

Ever heard of the term ”helicopter parent”? It describes someone who watches over their child’s every action almost obsessively. It can rob a child of initiative and agency.

Sometimes this behavior gets turned on its head when children hover over their parents as they age. If parents need to move to assisted living, don’t overdo visiting. Allow them space to adjust to their surroundings, community, and living situation. Not that the answer is to eliminate all visits or calls. That can accentuate feelings of isolation and depression. 

Unfortunately, there’s no formula for the perfect amount of contact. You’ll have to experiment to find what’s right for your situation.


Make the new space feel like home

Talk to your loved ones before the move to find out what furniture and decor pieces are most meaningful. Try to include as many of these as possible in the new apartment. Involve your parents in developing the layout for the new space so they feel ownership.


Expect ups and downs

Don’t be surprised that there are good days and bad days for your loved ones as well as for you. It’s OK. It’s normal. This is a major change that requires processing by all parties.

We encourage you and your loved ones to be gentle and supportive with yourself and others as you work to make this transition a success.


Assisted Living and Memory Care in Saratoga County 

Come to Home of the Good Shepherd for comfortable, beautiful, friendly assisted living and memory care communities in Saratoga County. We’re an organization you can trust for compassionate, professional care for your loved ones. We invite you to get in touch with us for more information or to schedule a visit.