Moving mom and dad to an assisted living is one of the most stressful moments of your life and it doesn’t stop once you drop off the moving truck.
Pixar’s new movie Inside Out shows this first hand; it’s one thing to convince a family member to move, it’s another to make them comfortable in the new environment. So here are some helpful Dos and Don’ts of moving mom and dad to assisted living.
Don’t… Rush the Moving Process
We’ve all had at least one hectic move in our lives. Maybe it was coordinating with movers, maybe it was coordinating with kids, but there’s a sudden rush to get out the door and reach your destination ASAP. This cannot be done with enfeebled elders.
Do… Help them Pack
Don’t just hire movers, help your loved one pack. This can be an incredibly touching bonding experience, going through old clothes, photo albums, and knick-knacks with sentimental value. Talk about it, do a little bit every weekend. Do not rush this, saying goodbye to a home is hard enough.
Caregiver Tip: If you’re not sure if something is worth saving, save it. Better to hold onto it now and toss it in a year, then throw it out now and regret it.
Don’t… Move in One Fell Swoop
Many people pack everything into the van and go so they don’t need to make two trips. With seniors though, this is extremely stressful and many will grow too emotional leaving the house for the last time, so it’s actually better to leave the house multiple times since it will be easier to say goodbye.
Do… Set up their Room
If you’re moving in multiple trips, ideally someone will be helping you. If you have enough help, assign someone to start setting up your elder’s room, this way, when they finally enter their new home, it’ll feel familiar. Better not leave these type of things to the imagination.
Don’t… Leave them High and Dry
It’s going to be tough to leave that first day at all, so don’t move them in and immediately hit the road. Walk around the campus, eat with the other residents, start socializing so you don’t simply spend all day with your elder in their new room – this will help them get out and bond with seniors who have been through this before!
Do… Find Your Campus-Contact
This is something most caregivers forget to do, so don’t you be one of them! Make sure there is some staff member on campus who is accountable for your elder. Make sure you know their name and how to get ahold of them. You don’t want to move your elder in and find out you were only working with a sales staff. Find an actual nurse that will be catering to your loved one so you can call and check in!