TRANSITIONING TO SENIOR LIVING:
A BRIEF OVERVIEW
As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, more families are focusing their attention on caring for their loved ones. A common method of care is assisted living. An assisted living facility is a residential community, which provides housekeeping services, prepared meals, events and other services to senior citizens. For seniors, assisted living is a way to maintain a degree of independence while enjoying certain conveniences that would otherwise require personal attention.
Of course, for many, the shift from a primary residence to a more crowded living arrangement can be very challenging. It is therefore important for family members to be sensitive and respectful during this time. This blog will provide a general overview into what can be done prior, during and after a move into an assisted living facility to help with a smooth transition.
BEFORE THE MOVE:
Of course seniors should not be forced into assisted living. The decision is best made when all family members agree whether or not a loved one should make the transition.
For many families, a lack of information can be fearful. The shift from a primary residence in to assisted living can be a dramatic change for a loved one, primarily because there are so many uncertainties. For example, many seniors may ask: “where am I going? Will I lose my friends and family? Am I losing my independence?” As a family member, it is important to acknowledge this discomfort and establish regular communication. Initially, many seniors are completely against the idea of moving in to an assisted living facility and in many cases, need to ease into the idea. Acknowledging this difficult can be helpful to relieving tension.
In this connection, it is important to establish communication with representatives in an assisted living facility. These representatives can help assist family members by providing information and answering questions, which will ultimately be helpful in minimizing fear.
Among many other uncertainties, a primary concern for seniors is the potential loss of privacy. Often times, seniors may move from a private residence to a community that houses a multitude of other peers. It is important to understand that although assisted living communities house many residents, all residents live in a private unit with their own space.
Planning to move or to help a loved one move into assisted living provides many challenges. One such challenge is delegating responses. Often times, for families with multiple siblings, knowing who is responsible for what task is confusing. It is helpful to arrange family meetings and designate responsibilities to each family member. For example, one family member should be responsible for handling paperwork and legal issues while another is responsible for moving belongings and cleaning.
DURING THE MOVE:
While moving, deciding what to bring from home can be a stressful task. In many cases, the shift into assisted living means that seniors will be down-sizing. For example, a senior may move from a single-family home into a 1 bedroom apartment in assisted living. If down-sizing from a large property to assisted living, seniors will have difficulty deciding what to keep and what to dispose.
When deciding what possessions to bring, it will be helpful to separate the needs from the wants. If the loved one will be selling their original property, there is always the option to rent a storage space to place these wanted items.
It is also helpful to check with the assisted living facility to confirm the size of the living space. It should also be confirmed whether or not the living space will be furnished prior to moving in. Knowing what arrangements are already in place and what regulations are imposed by the assisted living facility will be helpful in selecting what furniture and belongings to bring.
AFTER THE MOVE:
There are many tasks to be completed and challenges to overcome during the move to assisted living. None of it is easy. However, the one constant responsibility is communication; this need remains constant even after the move.
For many people, moving into assisted living can take months to acclimatize to. Family members can help ease this transition by visiting on a regularly basis to ensure that their needs are taken care of. However, it is important to make sure that these visits are not too frequent as it can minimize the encouragement to socialize and make friends within the assisted living community.
ASSISTED LIVING ON OAHU:
Please refer to the following for some assisted living communities on Oahu:
The Plaza Assisted Living Waikiki
1812 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
The Plaza At Mililani
95-1050 Ukuwai St, Mililani, HI 96789
15 Craigside Pl, Honolulu, HI 96817
Arcadia Retirement Residence
1434 Punahou St, Honolulu, HI 96822
TRANSITIONING TO SENIOR LIVING
TRANSITIONING TO SENIOR LIVING: