5 Ways To Help With The Adjustment To Assisted Living When You Live Far Away
If your parents are moving into an assisted living facility, even if it is a wanted move, the transition can be tough. There are ways that you can help with this transition, even if you don't live nearby.
#1 Help Them Find a Good Fit
First, help your parents find the right assisted living community. All assisted living communities are not the same and cater to different interests. For example, some are located on a golf course, others may be near the water, and others may focus on intellectual stimulation. Look at the location and the activities that the assisted living facility offer to find the right fit for your parents. Review information on any facility they are interested in moving into, and make sure that it is the right fit for them. If possible, visit the facility before your parents agree to move in to make sure that it really is a good fit.
#2 Help Arrange Access to Activities
Second, once your parents move in, help them to access activities that they are interested in. Make sure that they are informed about how access to activities work at the facility they are moving into. Help them figure out how to attend activities.
Help keep your parents connected to outside activities as well. Help them figure out how to use ride-sharing apps, for example, to get to and from activities they still want to participate in.
#3 Send a Care Package
Third, let your parents know that you care by sending them a care package. Include some of your parent's favorite snacks and foods. Add a magazine or book you know they would enjoy reading. Add some pictures as well. Just a little package that says, "Welcome home," lets your parents know that you are thinking about them.
#4 Call Often
Fourth, call often. Figure out a call schedule that works well for you. Predictable contact is important for the elderly. Maybe you call and talk with your parents twice a week; just make sure that you keep in contact with them so you know what is going on and can more easily judge if they need additional help.
#5 Arrange for Local Visits from Friends & Family
Finally, arrange for visits from local family and friends. If your parents have elderly friends in the area, help set up visits together. If you have family in the area, set up a rough schedule so that someone is checking in on your parents on a regular basis. This will help your parents feel comfortable as they realize that their new living arrangement didn't cut them off from their family and friends.
Even if you don't live near your aging parents, you can still help with the transition to an assisted living facility or senior living apartments. Help them find a facility that is a good fit for their needs and interests. Arrange access to activities that enjoy. Send them a care package and call often. Reach out to local relatives and friends and arrange visits and outings.