Although the benefits of senior living are well worth the move, any big transition like this can be nerve-wracking – logistically and emotionally. And that was before COVID-19! However, there are ways to make the move easier – even now – and give your entire family peace of mind that you’ve made the right decision.
Common Aging Fears Remain
COVID-19 has changed a lot, but it hasn’t changed some of the most common aging fears for seniors such as:
- Losing independence
- Having to depend on others
- Not being able to drive
- Being isolated and lonely
- Falling or becoming incapacitated
- Running out of money
Keep in mind that while your loved one may be ‘on board’ with the move to senior living from a practical standpoint, emotionally it may represent a tipping point for these fears. Making sure they know they can share their concerns with you, as well as being patient and empathetic with them will really set the tone as you prepare for the move.
Transitioning to Senior Living
As the moving process begins, here are some ways to help ease the transition for your loved one:
Give Them Control – As much as they want, or is feasible for that matter. The more your loved one is involved in planning and implementing their move to senior living, the more confidence they will have in the decision. And by giving them that sense of ownership in the process it can help alleviate some of their fear about losing independence.
Plan It Out – Restrictions around COVID-19 may restrict the time you can spend at the community before the move, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still plan your loved one’s new space ahead of time. Ask the community for a copy of the floor plan. Or, many are now offering links to videos, interactive floor plans and room planners online that can help your loved one visualize their new home. Also check for any recommendations and/or restrictions on what you can bring so there are no surprises.
Keep It Positive – The power of positive thinking can really go a long way in helping your loved one cope with the stress of the move. And there are certainly plenty of things to enjoy in senior living from delicious meals (that they don’t have to cook) to housekeeping, laundry and home maintenance (that they don’t have to do) to amenities like a pool and fitness center. You could even ask for an activity calendar so they can see what social and enrichment opportunities they have to look forward to – socially distanced of course!
Include Personal Touches – This can help your loved one’s private space in the community to feel more like home. So, as your packing for the move make sure to bring photos, keepsakes, personal items and perhaps even some favorite furniture pieces. What’s more, you can help the staff get to know your loved one by sharing personal preferences such as whether they like to stay up late, love fresh flowers or even their favorite meals and treats. It can help them connect and who knows what they may have in common!
Be There – During COVID-19 this becomes a bit more difficult to do physically, however most senior living communities are now offering outdoor visit opportunities, as well as a variety of options for virtual visits. But the idea is the same. Alleviate the worry your loved one may feel about being left behind by making sure they know you’re still an active part of their life and their care. You could even preschedule times for visits and/or calls on their calendar. And encourage other friends and family members to do the same to reassure your loved one.
Moving In During COVID-19
Senior living communities are making sure the move-in process is safe and smooth with a range of safety precautions in place to protect all of our residents; current and new. In addition to following strict local, state and federal guidelines, most communities are also performing COVID-19 testing 72 hours prior to your move-in date and self-isolating all new move-ins initially.
What’s more, with everything you need under one roof, limited access to visitors and safety checks, as well as 24-hour staffing, your family and your loved one can have peace of mind – the risk of exposure may even be less than at home!
For more information on our senior living community, contact us today to schedule a tour →.