If you’re helping a parent move into an assisted living community, it can be an emotional time. However, there may also be relief, especially if your loved one struggles with daily tasks or is becoming more isolated.
Not sure how best to help them feel settled? Here are ten practical and compassionate ways to create an environment in a loved one’s new assisted living apartment that helps them feel at home.
10 ways to help your loved one feel at home in assisted living
1. Customize the move-in experience
Work with your parent to create a move-in experience that matches well with their personality and preferences.
If more support is needed to adjust to the new home, consider having dinner with them the first day to help break the ice. Also, plan to visit them more frequently in the beginning.
2. Personalize their new space
Talk to your loved one about how best to decorate their new living space. Bringing cherished items from their existing home can quickly create a sense of familiarity.
A favorite reading chair, table or comforter for the bed, as well as framed photos or other personal collections can foster a sense of belonging and identity.
3. Establish routines
A daily routine can help your loved one feel at home sooner at the community. Consider the structure that works best to create a level of comfort and predictability.
Regular activities, mealtimes and keeping up with bedtime routines can help build a sense of normalcy and stability during this transitional time.
4. Maintain a schedule of regular visits
Residents often fear their family won’t visit as often once they move into an assisted living community. It’s important to let your loved one know that the connections will remain strong.
The sight of familiar faces decreases the anxiety that may accompany this significant life passage. Discuss this with other family members to promote regular visits.
5. Encourage socialization
It’s easy to meet and make new friends in an assisted living community when they participate in the many social opportunities offered. Staff are there to help new residents feel welcome.
Engaging in activities can boost both the physical and emotional health of your loved one. Ask about the monthly calendar of events the community offers and ensure the selections include those of interest.
6. Empower them through choices
Home provides freedom of choice but it’s common for residents to feel even more at home and independent when they receive help without having to rely on their children for basic tasks.
In assisted living, the choices belong to the residents. It might help to discuss preferences and make sure they know they will be heard and valued in their new home.
7. Promote health and wellness
Communities help residents feel at home by promoting physical and emotional well-being and an improved quality of life.
Access to amenities and features conveniently located on-site helps residents meet their wellness goals. Loved ones will appreciate how easy it will be for them to stay in shape, eat right and socialize with the other residents.
8. Encourage hobbies and interests
Remaining engaged in daily life helps residents feel part of the community. Your loved one will enjoy discovering a wide variety of options.
With easy access to painting, reading, gardening, or joining others in games, your loved one will gain a sense of purpose and achievement, see therapeutic benefits and get a boost in self-esteem.
9. Be patient and supportive
Patience, support and offering reassurance and encouragement will help your parent adapt to this change in life.
Matching benefits the community offers with the needs of loved ones can help them feel at home. Emphasize the connection, such as how the activities help avoid isolation or how delicious and nutritious meals make eating healthier easier.
10. Involve them in family life
It’s important to make family life accessible and involve your loved one in family activities, celebrations, and decision-making processes.
Share updates about family members, send pictures, and arrange virtual meetings if in-person visits are not possible. This continued connection reinforces their integral role in the family as well as their feeling of being a valued member.
The importance of feeling at home in assisted living
Helping a loved one feel at home in an assisted living community is an ongoing, collaborative process, involving both the family and the care team. With continued support, your parent can soon find joy and a sense of belonging.
While navigating this transition may seem daunting, a family’s love and presence can help bridge the familiar to the new. Your loved one is not alone in this journey and together you can help create not only a wonderful place to live but a place to call home.
Retirement living in Wadsworth, Illinois
Galloway Senior Living, locally owned and operated, provides luxury and quality care for families in our community.
Assisted Living at Galloway Senior Living offers beautiful and contemporary private residences that range from alcove studios to two-bedrooms and include high-end stainless-steel appliances, maple hardwood cabinets, cultured marble countertops and thoughtfully curated décor and colors.
Our Memory Care community offers a family kitchen, dining room, walking garden, and lounge.
Our services include:
- 24-hour certified nursing assistants, on-staff licensed nurses, medication management, and on-site physician visits
- COVID-19 safety protocols
- Assistance with daily tasks
- Readily available safe transportation
- A fall-reduction program
- In-unit emergency response systems including an electronic monitoring system for exit doors
- On-site entertainment and activities personalized to reflect the residents’ preferences
- Housekeeping and linen services including personal laundry
Amenities you’ll find at Galloway Senior Living include:
- Country Café and Convenience Store
- Salon and Spa
- Theater with 85” television
- Activity and Craft Center
- Game Room
- Library and Business Center
- Fitness Center
If you or your family is considering retirement living in Wadsworth, Illinois, we hope you will visit our community at Galloway Senior Living. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions.
We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Family Decision Toolkit: How to Choose the Right Senior Living Community.