Moving into a retirement home can be one of the most stressful moments in a senior's life. And acclimating to a new style of living can be tricky for them.
Apart from the logistical challenges of moving, seniors may also experience depression or anxiety as they deal with the transition from independent living to assisted living. For most of them, the idea of being cared for, surrounded by other people, and having no responsibilities can be overwhelming.
Some seniors can be independent and don't need much assistance from their families. Some do need more help than others. It’s necessary to identify when your loved one needs support and how best to provide it. Below are a number of tips you can use to learn how to properly provide support to your senior loved one after they have moved to a retirement home.
1. Keep In Mind That Adjustment Takes Time
Sometimes, you worry about how your loved ones are doing in their retirement home. It's normal to wonder about your loved ones and what they're doing. But remember that moving into retirement facilities like Riddle Village Retirement Community can be an adjustment for all the parties involved — for you, the seniors, and their caregivers.
Getting used to a new environment and adjusting to it may not be easy for seniors, especially those who are used to being in control of their lives for many years prior. In addition, retirees often have an emotional attachment to their homes. As a result, they may feel like losing something important when moving into a retirement community.
For your loved one to adjust well, you need to be patient and understanding of what they're going through. There will be days when they seem happy about the move, but other days when it's hard for them.
During these times, you'll probably be the first person your senior would love to talk to. This can be a huge responsibility, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Understand that it takes time to adjust; try to be there for them during these changes.
2. Recognize Their Loss
Remember that your loved one is grieving and be sensitive to the same. Your senior family member may feel isolated, anxious, and unsure of their future. You can help by acknowledging their loss and letting them know they’re not alone.
If they’ve been used to having control over their environment, this lifestyle change and transition can be difficult for them. Try to give them space and time to adjust to their new life in a retirement home. Listen carefully and validate their feelings if they express any concerns or complaints. Permit them to process their feelings and be okay with it.
Also, be patient with them and let them know that it's okay for them to ask for help if they need it. Avoid trying to fix everything at once; offer simple solutions to help them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.
3. Make Sure They’re Comfortable
Your loved one may not feel like they're living in luxury at first. But they'll soon realize there's much more to life than they used to expect.
Ensure their room is comfortable and welcoming, making them feel at home immediately. You can do this by helping them unpack and maybe decorate their new rooms. This process can make retirees feel comfortable and at ease.
4. Get Familiar With The Community
Get familiar with the community so you know where all of your loved one's favorite places are located. And how you can be there for them when they need it.
You should also know who all of the other residents are and try to get to know them as well. This will make for great friendships later on when your loved one needs someone who understands what it takes for them to live well in their retirement home.
5. Visit Often
Like any other person, seniors need to know they’re loved and cared for via a person’s presence, so you must visit as often as possible. You'll also see how things are working and ask questions if necessary. To boot, you may want to visit when the staff is changing shifts or during holidays if possible. This will allow you to understand better what's going on in their new environment and see if any improvements could be made.
6. Give Gifts
You may be tempted to get your senior an expensive gift for them on an anniversary or special date and birthday, but it may not be the best idea for many reasons.
First, it's easy for someone who doesn't live with you to forget what day it is anyway. Also, gifts should always be given with sympathy in mind because they mean more than just another thing sitting around in their house collecting dust. But if you're giving money as a gift, then consider giving it along with something else as well to make the thought behind the act more meaningful and sincere.
When a senior loved one moves into a retirement home, the rest of the family can feel overwhelmed by the changes and adjustments. The new environment can be stressful for both the seniors and their families. Sometimes, this stress can cause them to forget who they are as individuals and what makes them happy.
What the elderly need is support from their loved ones. Give them time to adjust to the changes they are going through. Transitioning is a process; allow it to take its natural course. With time, your loved one will make friends and a new family at the retirement home.