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How to Make a Smooth Transition into Assisted Living

For many seniors, moving into an assisted living facility can be a difficult and confusing transition. Many elderly people become confused or agitated during or after the move. The Aging Parents Authority recommends taking the following four steps to make the transition as smooth as possible for your parent.

1. If your parent suffers from dementia, don’t over-explain the move.

Acting in a way that is as matter-of-fact as possible helps your parent feel that the move is more of a natural change. Don’t worry your parent with unnecessary details or questions about the move if you feel that they will be unable to absorb too much information at once. However, it is important not to be dishonest with your parent – after all, they are the one making the move. Give your parent all of the facts in small doses rather than all at once.

2. Bring in other family members to help.

Having several family members involved allows everyone to take part in the move. This is important because it prevents other family members from having their feelings hurt while keeping you from becoming overwhelmed with the task of helping your parent make the move.

3. Keep your parent away on the day of the move.

Having your parent present while her things are being moved out of the home she may have lived in for decades can be traumatizing for her and delay the moving process. After you have made all of the arrangements and it is time to make the move, arrange for professional movers to come in and move her belongings. Meanwhile, take your parent out to lunch or somewhere special to make moving day as pleasant and relaxing as possible.

4. Give your parent a chance to try out the assisted living facility.

Many elderly people have a difficult time adjusting to their new environment at first. However, most of the time your parent will become used to the routine of the assisted living facility and will even make friends and enjoy the activities offered there. However, nothing should be written in concrete until you are sure that your parent can live comfortably in her new surroundings. Make sure that the contract you sign with the facility allows your parent to go through an adjustment period before you are required to make a long-term commitment.

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