Moving is a stressful process even for the young and able bodied. No one likes to pick up their whole lives and move from a well-known home to a strange place, but those feelings of fear and discomfort tend to increase as we age, and can be compounded by confusion when suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Although declining mental faculties are probably the reason you need to relocate your aging parents into assisted living, it can also make the move itself much more challenging for you and your parents. Here are some things you can do to make the process go more smoothly.
The key to successfully overcoming any challenge that involves working with other people is communication. This doesn’t mean you won’t disagree about what has to happen or how certain things need to be done, but by keeping the lines of communication open, you can avoid surprises and a certain amount of conflict. Even if your parents don’t like the idea of moving, it’s important to keep them involved in the process so they can maintain as much control as possible.
- Decide on a Place
Keeping Step 1 in mind, it’s important for you and your parents to agree on a place together. Given all the factors that need to be considered, including cost, location, and level of care, it might not be possible for everyone to agree on what the best place for your parents is, but again, it’s important to get their input so you can reach as much of a consensus as possible.
- Create a Plan
Once you’ve decided on a place and you have a move-in date, you need to plan out everything that needs to get done between now and that move-in date. When are you going to start packing? What are you packing and what are you putting in storage/giving away? If your parents have accumulated a lot of possessions over the years, you might want to give yourself extra time to go through it all and decide what’s worth keeping and what should be tossed. Set a packing date and stick to the plan. Even if your parents are resistant at first, laying out a plan and attacking the moving process one step at a time will make moving day much easier on both you and your parents.
- Get Everyone Involved
The responsibility of taking care of aging parents often ends up falling on one or two children, even when there are several siblings in the family. In order to make sure you aren’t the only person responsible for moving your parents, get as many family members involved as possible. Not only will this help lighten the load, it’s also a great way to remind your parents how much everyone cares about them. Most people are afraid of getting put in assisted living and being forgotten by their friends and family, so getting everyone involved is one way to assure your parents that’s not going to happen.
- Help Them Settle In
Once you’ve helped your parents unpack and arrange everything to their liking in their new home, be sure to visit them regularly, but not too often. Again, you want to let them know they won’t be forgotten, but you don’t want to smother them or become overbearing.
If you have any other questions about the move-in process, we’re happy to help.
Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.
CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.