Transitioning to senior living

Top tips for helping parents with the transition to senior living

Let's face it, when families decide that it would be best for their parent(s) to move to a full-service senior living community, they are usually faced with an entirely new universe of issues. Whether their parent is relocating from the family home around the corner, or from a condo in Florida, the transition can be challenging - that's where we can help! In an effort to best prepare families for the reality this transition, we've outlined the top tips for helping to make your loved one's transition as smooth as possible.

  • Focus on the positive: Whether it is the fact that they will meet new friends, will have somebody else preparing their meals, will not have to deal with home maintenance, or will soon be getting into a regular exercise program, continually reinforce the benefits of senior living that are most likely to benefit your parent or loved one.
  • Once the decision is made, do not delay: As many as half of the people that move to an independent senior community wait until they sell their current home before moving. The balance move right into the community first, letting their family and real estate agent deal with the sale of their home. Invariably, those who move first are the ones most quickly and completely satisfied with their lifestyle transition. They are happier because they are more quickly able to focus on the positive benefits of their new lifestyle, and are no longer burdened by the emotional process of selling their home.
  • Downsizing doesn't have to be scary: The whole issue of "downsizing" is a prominent concern for seniors, but it shouldn't be. There are simple things you can do make your loved one's new apartment feel like home - take time to select important items from your parent's home and move them to their new senior apartment. You can decorate the new apartment with furniture and accessories from their home, creating a smaller version of their existing "comfort zone".
  • Friends make everything better: Many seniors are wary of the prospect of meeting and making new friends. Encourage your parents to focus on the happiness that their past friendships have brought to them, and on the excitement of making new social connections. In a lifestyle-oriented independent senior community, you will see that existing residents embrace newcomers with a real sense of caring and community. Within days, new residents realize that they truly are at home.
A family's willingness to be proactive in encouraging their parents to do what is clearly in their best interest can have a profound and long-term impact on their well-being. By helping to turn natural anxieties about the transition into the anticipation of a new adventure, adult children and family members can not only improve their parents' state-of-mind, but also prepare them to embrace the remainder of their lives with great enthusiasm.

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