A Guide to Easing the Transition into Senior Living

If you are struggling to convince your elderly parents to move into senior living in Lombard, you are not alone. Family members often fail to persuade their loved ones to leave their homes. One reason why moving is painful and difficult is trauma.    

When a routine is disrupted, it can result in a condition known as relocation stress syndrome or transfer trauma. The symptoms associated with transfer trauma include loneliness, anxiety, hopelessness, and confusion. Initially, they may feel all these negative emotions, but if you prepare them psychologically and make adjustments to their new living space, they can transition without problems.  

residents in Senior Living in Lombard having a good time

Transitioning to Senior Living: How to Make It Easier  

Why Do Older People Prefer to Stay in Their Homes?

It takes great patience and empathy not to give up on the elderly since they can be stubborn.

You must understand that your parents also have their reasons for not wanting to leave. They’re not doing it to spite you. It’s impossible to win them over if you do not study why they always say no.  

#1 Moving Is Physically Stressful

When you ask them to leave their most prized possession, aka their home, they’ll want to bring keepsakes, which means going through years of accumulated stuff that can be physically taxing. Rummaging through decades of the collection is stressful since it involves manual work. Moving is easier said than done.  

#2 They Fear Losing Their Independence

The biggest misconception about senior living communities is that they strip their residents of their independence. Over the years, the programs and activities of these communities have evolved, encouraging and empowering their residents to practice their independence.  

#3 The Fear of Leaving a Community

Seniors fear leaving because this big change may take them away from their family and friends. They worry that being away will isolate them from the people they love.  

#4 Being Away From Home Can Cause Anxiety

For the elderly, their house is not just a physical structure. It is their home where they built decades of memories with the people they love. Countless birthdays, Christmases, and other holidays were spent in their homes, and taking them away can cause them to experience excessive worry and distress.    

#5 Not Knowing What to Expect

Do not undermine the fear the elderly feel when you talk to them about moving into a different environment, a place entirely unfamiliar to them. Despite your invitations, their fear can prevent them from saying yes.  

Several studies demonstrate that fear of the unknown is linked to fear of change. Fear develops when people feel powerless and uncertain about the future and if the change deprives them of control. Ultimately, this leads to feelings of anxiety and stress.  

residents talking in a Senior Living in Lombard

Why Are Senior Living Communities Beneficial?

The elderly may not see the benefits senior living offers, but once they try it, they will realize how the move can significantly help make their day-to-day living easy and hassle-free.  

These communities provide customized living spaces with modern amenities and features that cater to your loved ones’ needs. The place is scientifically designed to make elderly residents thrive.  

The following are some of the benefits of moving to a senior living community:  

  • Access to care: Residents in senior living communities can access various care options, such as assisted living and memory care.
  • Social engagement: The many activities and opportunities offered in senior living communities make it easier for seniors to stay engaged and socialized, helping reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • Safety and security: Assisted living communities are equipped with safety features to ensure the safety of the residents. The staff is also available 24/7 to cater to their needs.  

What Can You Do to Make the Transition Easier for Them?

#1 Visit the Community Before Moving In

An effective strategy to help seniors develop a positive response to a senior living community is giving them a tour of the place before the actual move-in date. Ask the director if your parents could check out the menu, have lunch or dinner and have them observe the activities of the day so they can imagine what their life would be like once they become residents themselves. Immerse them in the community by showing them around. This will greatly help them feel at ease.  

#2 Personalize Their Living Space

To reduce separation anxiety, experts suggest you personalize their living space to make it more comfortable and warm for them. Perhaps you could add decorations at home, like artwork or framed photographs of family members. All these can help make their apartment feel like home, making the adjustment easier.  

#3 Get to Know the Residents  

You don’t have to knock on doors one by one to ask for their names and get to know them. We found that the transition can be easier if you encourage your loved ones to make friends. Knowing one or two people in the community can be a big help.  

Over time, they will get acquainted with the rest of the community members when they start doing activities and sharing meals. But during the first few weeks, getting to know their neighbors and building rapport and friendship with them can help reduce the stress and anxiety they are feeling.  

#4 Talk to the Staff

Being transferred to a new environment can be challenging, especially for seniors who may not feel comfortable with this big change. A good first step to minimize the awkwardness is communicating with the staff.  

As soon as you arrive, you will sit down with the staff to discuss activities, including dining and programs, and many other aspects of living at the facility. Take this as an opportunity to ask questions. Encourage your parents to air out their concerns before they move in. This helps avoid potential issues in the long run.

Senior Living in Lombard exercise program

Do You Need Help Looking for a Senior Living in Lombard?  

If your loved ones’ health and safety are on the line because no one in the family can commit to taking care of them 24/7, a senior living community would be an excellent solution to this problem.    

Transitioning can be difficult, but it’s not impossible if you follow the strategies discussed. At Senior Living Experts, we have worked with over 230 communities in the Chicagoland area. We can offer options to help you find what you need. Contact us to learn more.

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