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Senior Care: Living transitions can be hard but there is always help

Most times, the death of a spouse will bring on the need for a change in your parents’ or grandparents’ living arrangements. Moving them into your home, assisted living or even a nursing home can cause tremendous stress to everyone involved. Yes, moving senior loved ones is challenging, no matter what the reason.

Not being alert enough to tend to one’s self, poor eating habits, poor hygiene, loneliness and isolation are signs that a senior may need a living adjustment. Finding the right place for a senior can be difficult. The question to constantly ask when looking for a new residence for the senior in your life is: “Would I live here?”

Look for a safe place that has emergency call systems in place, floors free of potential fall hazards and exits that are easily accessed. Also, look for facilities that offer transportation to residents, as well as good, nutritious meals. Those considerations are just as important.

If seeking a retirement community, allow your loved one to gradually adjust to the idea and to the community. After moving in, give your loved one, and yourself, ample time to adapt as both of you could feel strong emotions initially.

Since change can be unsettling for anyone, try off-setting the shock of moving into a new home by gradually introducing the idea to the senior in your life.

Day trips are a good start. Visit the site of their new home several days in a row to get the senior used to the idea of moving and more familiar with what is about to happen. Talking constantly about the need for change and how it will improve their lifestyle is good, too. Help them to see and understand what is about to happen and who is going to be involved in that change.

After the transition, visiting your loved one regularly in their new home will give them the strong feeling of support and remove the isolation they may be feeling in a new environment. Many times, you will see that their lives begin to take an upswing once they have adapted to the new home.

Home Matters Caregiving