How to Prepare for Assisted Living
Assisted living homes are becoming a common way of life for many seniors. Although there are many who would love to take care of their parents on their own, it can be a very demanding experience to take care of your aging parents at home while dealing with your other responsibilities. If you are dealing with a parent who is experiencing memory loss or is in a terminal condition, it can become even more difficult to deal with. Ultimately, assisted living can be an ideal option, if you know how to prepare for it. The key is to make your parent feel as comfortable about the transition as possible.
If you want to handle paperwork and legalities as soon as possible, you should get in contact with a social worker and your loved one’s insurance provider. These two contacts will prove to be very useful to you in the future. Social workers focus on the aspects of your loved one’s overall well-being, providing you with suggestions of assisted living programs that are known for optimal care. Insurance providers guide you through any paperwork that may be necessary to have assisted living paid through via your loved one’s insurance coverage, if possible.
Seniors do well in assisted living homes when the environment is more familiar to them. Pack their belongings from your home or their current residence and set them up in a similar arrangement when they have settled into their assisted living home. This will make it feel more like ‘home’ to them and allow them to feel more comfortable with the transition. During the holidays, you can decorate their bedrooms or add seasonal décor so that they don’t feel left out from the festivities in your household.
Keep open communication with them about why these changes are happening and about their overall health condition. Seniors will appreciate it when you are honest with them about significant changes to their health. It is also comforting for them to know that you will still visit them regularly when they have moved into their new assisted living area. The worst feeling for any aging parent is believing that no one cares about them now that they have moved into an assisted care or nursing facility.
Remember to get family involved. Some seniors feel embarrassed about the idea of having family members come to visit them at assisted living homes, while others feel very comfortable with the concept. You should communicate to them that you plan on visiting them and that you want it to be a family experience, allowing various members to come along so you can all spend time together.