Your loved one(s) have finally agreed to accept support, you have selected the senior care community and your parent or loved one is willing to move, to find a new home within a senior-friendly environment. The next step yet to come, namely moving to the new home, represents perhaps the biggest challenge of all though.
Even for a highly competent senior, it can be overwhelming to organize the move and all related tasks. Truth be told, moving can be overwhelming for just about anyone. This means that your parent will need support from family and friends more than ever during preparations, packing, the move itself and arranging the new home. Then again, it might be the children taking care of the move and in this case, it is essential to make the transition as least traumatic for the parent as possible, especially if the death of a spouse, loss of income or illness represents a previous event.
Helping your Loved One Before the Move
Before the moving date approaches, children should try to ensure it is something their loved one is looking forward to. Creating a sense of anticipation by focusing on prospective opportunities and new experiences will make the move a lot easier for the loved one and facilitate leaving behind the past and everything that goes with it.
Help Ensure a Smooth Transition
A possibility to smooth the transition is offering your loved one the chance to familiarize him- or herself with the new home environment. To this end, you should undertake advance trips with your loved one and offer him or her the chance to get to know the area and its offerings, to identify locations of shops and stores and to meet people and socialize.
Another way of supporting the parent and focusing on what the future will offer lies within furnishing and arranging the new home prior to the move. Deciding what furniture to keep, where to put it and what new accessories to buy allows the parent to be involved in the transition while preventing him or her from being overwhelmed. Sketching out a floor plan is a good method to help visualize your loved one what the new home will look like.
During the relocation process, most seniors start criticizing and complaining a lot. Naturally, it is hard for them to leave their beloved and familiar home and to move to a new environment. The increased stress they face may change their behavior and temper. Nevertheless, it is important for you to stay calm and not to take everything personally. In most cases, the tension is only temporarily and will ebb away after the move.
Helping your Loved One After the Move
Even if the move has gone off without a hitch, the first few days will most likely be very difficult for your loved one, especially if they are living all by themselves now. To support them, a possibility for you, a friend or family member is to spend the first night with them, or even to stay the first few days, helping them unpack and settle in. It will comfort them if they have a friendly face in their new environment and the company you can provide them with is an essential part of easing the relocation transition.
Once your loved one has begun living alone, make sure to call regularly and see how he or she feels about living in the new home. If doubts or second thoughts are articulated, point out all the benefits the new home located within the senior care community has.
Remaining patient is important during this process. Most likely, your parent will not tell you straight away how happy he or she is about having moved and perhaps will never openly admit to this. Over time, however, you might notice small things demonstrating that your loved one has settled in and appreciates the care provided in the new community.
This proves how important and valuable your efforts were during the move. And it is at this point that you can be sure of having done the right thing, namely ensuring your parent can enjoy the next years to come while being looked after in a safe, senior-friendly environment.