Freshman Guide: Moving Your Elderly Loved Ones to an Assisted Living Facility
It is one of the most difficult decisions of your life: your 82-year old mother, smart as a whip and the strongest woman you’ve ever known, can no longer support herself. Over the years, you’ve seen signs of deterioration, but it seems to only be getting worse, and though you can’t bring yourself to say the words, you know the hard, hard truth: it’s time.
Moving your loved one into an assisted living facility can be a daunting task, and for this reason, we’ve made a holistic, step-by-step guide designed to shepherd the both of you through the process and onto the path of remediation.
1. The Key to Convincing
Convincing your loved one is certainly the most difficult part of the move; after all, you are asking them to abandon their friends, home, and life as they know it. And so, the key to convincing lies in the approach. Taking the time to organize a specific plan, constructing persuasive arguments, and preparing for adverse reactions are all components of an effective approach, and will ultimately reassure your loved one in such a delicate situation.
2. Choosing the Right Home
After you have finished “the talk,” you must now choose the community that best suits your loved one. Understand that different homes offer different services, and so presenting an array of options will be most conducive to making the right decision. For example, some homes have heated swimming pools, others have great programming boards, and though I’ve never seen one in person, I’ve even heard of a home having its own miniature golf course. Regardless of what type of person your loved one is, there is a home for them; you just have to find it.
3. Scheduling the Move
Once the choice has been made, it is time to act upon it; these are not the kind of plans to put on the back burner. Find a date that works for both of you, and I cannot stress this enough: be sure to provide enough time to fully move them in (4-6 hours should do). You’d hate to have to hurry them in what will most definitely be a very stressful day.
4. Deciding What to Take and What to Leave
If I have any advice on this step, it is to know when to say “no.” Of course, keep in mind that you’re dealing with your loved one’s belongings and memories; but, at the same time, they cannot take everything. Their new room will only be able to hold so much, and depending on the home, certain restrictions may apply (see #2). Finding the right balance of necessity and expendability will allow for an expedited packing process.
5. Peace of Mind
Moving your loved one to an assisted living facility is as tough a decision as you will ever face. Understand that even if you follow all of the steps above, feelings of guilt and pain may still perturb. Unfortunately, these emotional burdens are unavoidable when we are dealing with the ones we love the most. It might take weeks, months, maybe even years for the emotions to subside, but when they do, it will be at a time when you have accepted that your loved one is in better, professional hands. The sooner you realize that you made the right decision, the sooner you will reach peace of mind.