In the United States, older people are more likely to live alone or as a couple than in other parts of the world. Many seniors have chosen to simplify their lives while retaining their independence. They’ve done this by moving into independent living communities.
If one of your loved ones has decided to make this more, how can you help them? What will help to make the transition as smooth as possible? And how can you help to minimize any anxieties they may have?
Read on to find out how to help a loved one transition into independent living.
Involve Them in the Conversation
Your loved one needs to move into independent living at the right time for them. Although they may be struggling with running the family home, it’s vital that they are fully involved and invested in the move at every stage.
At first, they may be skeptical about the need for a move. But you can reassure them that you have only their health and safety in mind.
Independent living homes are designed with seniors in mind. They include easy access bathrooms with grab rails. The design allows older ones to maintain independent living without the hassle of maintaining a home.
All maintenance, right down to gardening and snow removal is included in the monthly fee.
Help them to appreciate independent living benefits. Including the simplicity of not having to worry about paying utilities or property taxes again. There is just one single monthly charge to pay.
Give Them Time to Move
We all appreciate having some time to adjust to new ideas. That’s especially true when it involves moving home. Homes are about more than buildings – they contain memories and are close to our hearts.
Give your loved one time to mentally make the transition, as well as physically. Give them time to sort through their possessions.
Having a deadline is good, as it gives a sense of purpose. But too short a deadline could lead to regrets later about items that were not brought.
Talk to the independent living facility about when the unit will become available, and plan from there.
Identify Items to Take With Them
In an independent living facility, there is scope to bring your favorite furniture. Having these familiar pieces around them will help their new home really start to feel like home.
As well as furniture, consider favorite pictures, mirrors, lamps, photographs, and artwork to have on display. Most seniors will be downsizing into an independent living community. This will mean that they will have to part with some treasured items.
Spend time with them and help them put to one side the items that they really can’t live without. These are the priority items to move.
Create another area with items they would like to keep if possible. Could you or another relative hold onto them until they are settled in their new home? Maybe then they can decide which items they can fit in, and which they would like to pass on.
Letting go of treasured possessions can be hard. A neat trick is to take a photograph of the item. That way you can still remember it, although you don’t have it physically.
Also, help your loved on to organize their important paperwork. This should be taken on moving day. Talk to them about where they would like to securely store it in their new home.
Don’t Go It Alone
Helping anyone move house can be overwhelming! When you’re helping your loved one transition to life in an independent living community, don’t try to go it alone.
Enlist the help and support of family, friends, and neighbors. They will be more than happy to take care of some of the practical arrangements. Delegate the task of helping your loved one to decide which items to take, if possible.
Encourage friends and family to visit your loved one in their new home. That can greatly help them to feel settled and comfortable, knowing they are surrounded by familiar faces.
Let Their Friends Know
Sometimes when moves happen fast, friends may not know what has happened. It would be such a shame for your loved one to lose these vital connections to their circle of friends.
Take time to talk to your loved one about who they need to inform that they are moving. This task is easily achieved by sending a text, making a call, or sending a brief note.
This helps to keep everyone in the loop and makes the transition to independent living easier for your loved one.
Make a Moving Day Box
On moving day, let movers take the strain. But keep one box to move yourself along with your loved one.
A moving day box should include all the essentials they will need right away. Think toiletries, medication, valuables, snacks, and drinks.
This will help you to settle your loved one in comfortably without having to go through boxes looking for things.
Help Them Settle In
When helping someone move into a senior living facility, it’s easy to focus on making the home comfortable. While that’s incredibly important, it’s also vital that they connect with their new community.
Before they move in, take some time to help your loved one to get introduced to the neighbors.
No doubt they will be transplants too. They might have some helpful advice and tips for your loved one to help them settle into their new area. This is also a great chance for them to get familiar with any of the amenities offered at the facility.
Make Time to Visit
Moving to an independent living community will have lots of benefits for your relative. It will be easier for you to make senior care arrangements as needed. You and they will have the peace of mind of knowing their property is well cared for.
But most of all, they need their loved ones around them at this time. So make time for regular, reassuring visits. This will help your loved one to feel loved, and reassure them that they are not alone.
Independent Living – The Start of a Beautiful Chapter
Moving into an independent living home is a wonderful opportunity for your loved one. A chance to reduce their stress and enjoy life to the full. All in a home designed for their comfort and safety.
The Cottages at Sanders Glen provide beautiful independent living homes for seniors. There are studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units for rent. A single monthly charge combines rent, property taxes, and all maintenance.
Contact us today to arrange to view our beautiful homes.