Tips to Create a Smooth Transition to an Assisted Living Facility

How to Help Your Loved one Adjust to Living in an Assisted Living Facility


The decision to move into an assisted living facility is typically made to enhance the safety, well-being, and quality of life of senior loved ones. Nevertheless, the transition often comes with mixed emotions – relief at the idea of receiving needed support, but also fear of navigating the change to a new environment.

By understanding your loved one’s concerns and approaching the adjustment process with care, understanding, and support, you can help them thrive in their new living environment. In this blog post, we’ll explore tips to make the process of transitioning to an assisted living facility smoother.

Take a Tour of Multiple Assisted Living Communities Before Moving in

Once you’ve shortlisted several potential options, the next step is to schedule a tour of the assisted living communities you’re considering. Visiting the communities in person allows you to get a sense of the environment, the layout of the facilities, cleanliness, safety features, and the overall atmosphere, helping your loved one feel more comfortable with the idea of moving.

If possible, talk to current residents who already live there – ask about their experience, what they enjoy most about living there, and if they have any concerns or suggestions. You may also arrange a meal in the community’s dining room to taste their food options, explore the dining environment, and interact with other residents.

In addition, since many assisted living communities organize social events, activities, and outings for their residents, you may want to check if there are any happenings during your visit and see if you can participate. This will give you a glimpse into the community’s social life and the types of activities your loved one might enjoy.

Help Your Loved One Adjust to the New Surroundings

Helping your loved one feel comfortable in their new surroundings is essential for their emotional well-being. Creating an environment that reflects their personality and reminds them of home can go a long way in making the adjustment smoother.

One of the best ways to do that is to make their new living space resemble their previous home. If possible, set up their furniture in a similar way to how it was arranged before. Decorate their living area with sentimental items and personal touches. This could include family photos, artwork, cherished mementos, or favorite knick-knacks.

Surrounding them with familiar items can help reduce feelings of disorientation and sadness. If your loved one is capable, let them decide about the decor of their new living space, such as color schemes, furniture choices, or other decorations.

Encourage Your Loved One To Socialize

One of the most common concerns of seniors transitioning to an assisted living facility is the fear of isolation and loneliness, which is why it’s important to acknowledge their feelings during this period of change. Let them know that it’s only natural to be hesitant about making new connections in an unfamiliar environment.

Explain that assisted living facilities offer a variety of activities and events, including art classes, gardening clubs, and book clubs, specifically designed to help them establish new relationships. You may even share the numerous benefits of socializing in the community, such as enhanced emotional well-being, reduced feelings of loneliness, and a sense of belonging.

Schedule Days and Times to Visit Them

Your loved one may worry that moving into an assisted living facility will change the bond they share with their family. To alleviate this fear, reassure them of your intentions to visit regularly and stay connected.

Consider scheduling specific days and times that work for both of you and make an effort to stick to it as closely as possible. This will help them feel comfortable and secure.

During your visits, engage in activities that your loved one enjoys or that bring them comfort, such as going for a walk, playing a favorite game, sharing a meal, or simply spending quality time chatting and reminiscing old memories.

Help Them Maintain Independence

Moving into an assisted living facility doesn’t mean giving up independence entirely. In fact, encouraging your loved one to continue enjoying their hobbies and routines can greatly aid in their transition.

If your loved one has specific hobbies or interests, such as cooking, gardening, or crafting, speak with the staff members at the facility. In many cases, they can support them in pursuing their passions. For example, if cooking is a beloved activity, the facility may offer cooking classes or provide access to a kitchen where they can prepare meals with assistance if needed.

Additionally, many facilities allow them to choose their clothing for the day or decide which activities they want to participate in. Do your best to ensure that they can continue with familiar activities, such as morning walks, reading, or listening to music at specific times. Routine can provide a sense of comfort and stability.

At Arbor Trace, an assisted living community located in Ontario, Canada, we’re dedicated to providing person-centered care to help your loved one make a smooth transition to assisted living. They will find not just a place to live but a vibrant and caring community that encourages independence, engagement, and a high quality of life.

We stay mindful of our residents’ needs, both physical and emotional. As their level of independence may change over time, we’re prepared to adapt and provide additional support as required.

Schedule a tour of the Arbor Trace assisted living community in London, Ontario to learn how we can ensure a seamless transition to assisted living.

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