Opportunity Lives

How to help your elderly parents adjust to assisted living


If your family has made the decision to move your ageing mom or dad into an assisted living facility, that’s great news. It’s often the best choice for everyone involved and allows your loved ones to live in a safe and secure environment with all the medical assistance they require. That being said, it’s not always easy for people to make the transition from living independently at home to becoming a resident in a care facility. Luckily there are several actions you can take in order to make the adjustment as smooth as possible for your relative. Here are some top tips.

Before the move

The process of helping your parents make a successful transition into assisted living begins long before the actual move itself. For example, make sure to raise the idea well in advance to allow your mom or dad time to get used to it, listen carefully to any concerns they raise, and address them thoughtfully. Then you can tour a high-quality senior community such as Westchester assisted living to get a better notion of what living there will be like, and you can highlight all the positive aspects of becoming a resident in an assisted living facility, such as not having to worry about doing chores, having the chance to try new hobbies, and the increased opportunity for social interaction. 

Discuss what sort of care facility your mom or dad would prefer, how much support they would like, and what sort of services they need in order to choose a home that they will be happy in

After the move

The first few days and weeks are vital for helping your elderly parent settle into their new home. Here are a few ideas of how you can help:

  • Bring many of your mom or dad’s favorite personal belongings with them from home – for example, family photos, books, etc. – so they can be surrounded with familiar and comforting items 
  • Encourage your relative to stick to their usual routine where possible, for instance, doing the daily crossword puzzle in the morning or watching their favorite TV show in the afternoon
  • Visit frequently to make sure your parent doesn’t feel as though they have been abandoned. If you are unable to visit in person, arrange video chats or phone calls instead
  • Keep in contact with the staff at the facility, so you can ask for advice if necessary and stay updated about your parent’s situation, health, and emotional state
  • Encourage your mom or dad to take part in the wellness programs, social activities, craft workshops, and other events held by the assisted living facility (without being overly pushy). This is one of the best ways for them to make new friends, find interesting hobbies, and feel more at home

Don’t panic! 

Don’t panic if there are some ups and downs in the beginning. A period of adjustment is only natural, but by being there for your parents and supporting them as much as you can, you will make the process as easy as possible. Soon they’ll be having so much fun, they’ll be too busy to speak to you when you call!

Share This