Moving into an assisted living facility can be emotionally challenging for many seniors. While living adjustments are already difficult, change often gets harder as we age. You may be required to dramatically change your living arrangement from your home to an assisted living facility, due to the inability to safely reside independently. But rest assured there are several approaches to help you create an at-home feel to your new assisted living residence.
Bring Memorable Objects
Think about what personal belongings you cherish. You may desire to have familiar items that make your new space feel like home. Bring as many reminders of home that you can to help make the change a little easier. Be sure to put familiar and beloved curios and treasured family photographs in your new living area. Favorite furniture from home such as a small sofa, chairs and dressers make excellent additions to your new space.
Enhance the Look of the New Place
Decorate your new space so that it does not feel basic. Many assisted living facilities permit new residents to have the room painted to help make it feel individualized. Warm colors will facilitate a welcoming feel. Be sure to use any beloved wall art, lamps, pillows, bedspreads and window treatments from home to make your space even more home-like.
Your living area will potentially be limited, so ask a family member to store items that you do not use on a daily basis like holiday decorations and seasonal clothing. Remember that there should not be so many items from home in your new living area that it poses a safety risk to your mobility.
Have a Place and Space for Everything
When you are deciding which items to move into your new residence, ensure there is a space for all of your belongings. Make it a priority to buy shelves or cabinets to maintain photo albums and other possessions so they are safe and easily reached. Be sure to organize closets and have storage options such as baskets.
Know where your personal items are located by labeling cabinets and drawers if necessary. You will feel comfortable when you are able to easily find what you need.
Make Social Connections
Make social connections with other residents. It is essential that you find other people you can relate to. Ask the administration and staff to introduce you to other residents that have like interests. This creates a more satisfying transition into an assisted living facility for you and your family.
Language and approach are important when speaking about your move. Remember it is also a mental transition on top of a physical one! Make sure to speak of your new residence as your home.
It is expected that you will initially grieve the loss of your independence and old home. Given time to adjust, you will assimilate well and begin to enjoy the safety, security, kindness and companionship offered by the assisted living staff and residents.