While programs like Drive a Senior and Meals on Wheels attempt to enable Austin’s elderly to continue living independently, sometimes families must face the reality that moving their loved one into an assisted living facility could be what’s best for everyone. While making this decision is never easy, nursing homes and retirement communities offer elderly residents the safety of on-site medical assistance, an array of amenities, and several other benefits. As you help your loved one make the transition to assisted living, there are a few things you can do to make the move as easy as possible.
Discuss the Benefits
One of the ways that you can make moving to an assisted living facility a little easier is to talk about the benefits. In addition to having medical staff on call 24/7, residents of retirement homes also have:
- More social interaction: Instead of spending days at a stretch at home without visitors, nursing home residents have the opportunity for daily social engagement with their peers. Not only are friends just a door over, but the staff at assisted living facilities organize an array of parties, events, and even outings.
- No more home maintenance: For the elderly, home maintenance issues can turn into a real problem and safety issue. By selling their home and moving into a nursing facility, they’ll be free of the burdens of homeownership.
- Housecleaning is included: Another perk of living in assisted living is that meals and housecleaning are included in the package deal! Now instead of struggling to cook and clean, residents can enjoy doing things that they want to, like playing cards or chatting with friends.
- Safety: One of the biggest benefits of assisted living is the constant presence of staff to ensure your loved one’s safety. Not only are buildings secure from the threat of burglary, but you’ll no longer have to fret about the potential that your elderly family member might fall and not be able to get up to call for help. In assisted living, they will receive constant monitoring and supervision.
Take A Tour
Before you decide on one facility, go on a tour of several different residences that are in your price range. Make sure you check out the dining area, common areas, the nursing station, and outdoor areas. Discuss the pros and cons of each facility with your loved one and make sure they are happy with the final decision prior to signing the paperwork.
Know What to Take
No matter what kind of facility they are moving into, your loved one will likely need to do some downsizing. Parting with their beloved possessions may be one of the most difficult parts of moving into assisted living because things are a tangible reminder of a lifetime of memories. Prior to helping your family member move, make sure to contact the assisted living facility. Some independent living apartments allow residents to bring their own furnishings, while others come fully furnished and only require the residents to bring clothing and a few other personal items. Be there to help your loved one as they downsize for assisted living; here are some great tips to help. As you pack for the move, try to take as many decorations from home as possible so that the person feels comfortable. Pictures are ideal as they will keep the person thinking about family members.
If you are moving your loved one into a facility in the Austin area, there are several great professional moving companies that can help you with the moving logistics.
Once they are moved in, take your loved one around to meet some of the staff and other residents who live in the facility. Making new friends might seem daunting, but if you are there, then it might be easier for them to talk to others. Try going at meal time so that there are more people in one place.
Discuss the Medical Offerings
Be aware that different facilities offer different levels of medical care. Assisted living facilities generally only provide basic services, such as providing medications and scheduling doctor’s appointments, while nursing homes offer a broader range of services and more medical staff. Make sure you have a plan for transitioning your loved one to more comprehensive medical care should the need arise.
Moving into assisted living after years of living independently is a difficult transition for most elderly people. Make sure you take the time to listen to your loved one’s needs and prepare them for this big move. Once they are settled in and have made new friends, they will likely enjoy their new home!