For many seniors, the thought of retirement is an exciting one. It means that they will be able to enjoy their life without having to work and can finally relax. Independent living for seniors can be a great choice for those who are looking to maintain an active lifestyle. If you’re considering this for your parents or other aging loved ones, it’s important to understand that the transition to independent living can be challenging.
This is especially true when seniors are used to having family members live with them every day. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure the transition is smooth.
Choose the Right Independent Living Community
Before you even consider independent living as an option for your aging loved ones, you must choose the right community. It’s important that your senior parent can physically get around and has a support system to help them if they need it. Riddle Village, one of the best 55+ communities in Delaware County, notes that what a community offers in terms of amenities and services is not as important as the fit between your senior loved one’s personality, lifestyle, needs, expectations and goals.
Apart from that, you should also ensure the community has:
- Friendly staff members
- Routine activities
- Senior-friendly amenities
- Easy access to transportation
- Medical and nursing services
- Community policies and procedures that are geared towards the safety and comfort of residents
- Clean, well-maintained and safe facilities
Help Them Get Settled by Setting Up Their Living Space
It can be a daunting task to settle into a new living space, especially for older adults. This is why it’s important to help them get settled by setting up their living space so they have the essentials and feel more at home. Independent living can provide seniors with the support they need to live a quality life as it allows them to do everything for themselves while also getting help when needed.
However, you can still offer to help get them settled to make the transition as smooth as possible. Pack up their things with care and efficiency and be sure to label each box in detail, so they know where everything goes. But don’t stop there. Help them set up the living space to make it look like home so that they can feel at ease.
Allow Time for the Emotional Transition
It can take a while for your loved one to adjust emotionally after moving from a home they have lived in for many years. There are several factors that make it difficult for seniors to accept new living arrangements, such as loss of home-based independence and daily family social support. The best way to help them through this difficult period is by giving them time and supporting them.
Rather than rushing your loved one into their new home as soon as possible, give yourself and your senior some time for adjustment first. Make sure you sit down and discuss what they want out of their new living arrangement. They might find it difficult to verbalize exactly how they’re feeling, so allow them time to realize the changes happening in their own way and at their own pace.
Schedule Plenty of Visits in the Early Weeks
Once they’ve moved to the new residence, it’s important to schedule lots of visits. Ensure the transition is going smoothly by checking in on them and seeing how they’re doing throughout their first couple of weeks there. If you notice any issues or concerns, make a point of getting those sorted out as soon as possible before they become problems that are much more difficult (and expensive) to deal with.
If they’re not quite ready for independent living, or if their new space is very different from the one that they left behind (such as a smaller apartment after leaving a huge house), try to avoid taking them out of their new residence unless absolutely necessary in those first few weeks. The change will be especially difficult for seniors who are living alone for the first time.
Independent Living for Seniors Is Possible
You might be asking yourself if this will work. If you have a senior parent who is still active and likes to live on their own, living in an independent senior community can work for them. The point of transitioning to a senior living community is that your parents or loved ones will still have control over their life and still enjoy the benefits that they receive from the services provided by these communities.