Assisted living, is a great alternative for seniors who require a little assistance managing daily activities, but still wish to live independently or, perhaps, don’t require full-time nursing care. Assisted living facilities can help residents manage:
• Medication schedules
• Bathing, dressing
• Cooking, cleaning, laundry
Even though assisted living provides lots of help and offers many benefits, there may still be feelings of grief and depression associated with the reality of giving up certain freedoms; moving out of the house that three generations grew up in; having to clear out possessions and keepsakes because of space; fear of new routines and meeting new people. There could be numerous reasons to feel apprehensive, and they’re all valid and need to be accepted and addressed by family members and caregivers.
To ease the emotional and physical transition, remember the following tips:
• Don’t procrastinate packing. Packing and moving is stressful enough without the added stress of having left everything until the very end and then having to decide which items are given away, stored away or packed to go.
• Educate yourself about the new home. Review all the information you’ve collected and conversations you’ve had regarding the new facility so you know what to expect. If there are things you still don’t know or are concerned about, ask questions before the move.
• Stay busy. Depression and grief make a very convenient excuse for staying inside your apartment and not seeking people out, but it is precisely because of the depression and grief that you need to get out and meet people at meals and go on arranged or impromptu outings. You will become more comfortable with your new living arrangements, neighbors and caregivers.
• Go easy on yourself. “Everyone adjusts to change differently, so give yourself a break, no matter what you’re feeling. However, if you feel like you’re taking longer than you think you should to adjust, it may help to talk to family members, the director of the facility, or a trusted friend” (Helpguide.org)
Assisted Living Federation of America (http://www.alfa.org/alfa/Consumer_Resources.asp?SnID=523461005)