When your elderly parent makes the decision to move into an independent living facility, it is important for you and other family members to help him or her make the transition. Moving into a new environment can be challenging, but there are things you can do to ease the process. Here are some tips to help you and your parent make the transition as smoothly as possible.
Create a List of Moving Tasks and Delegate
There are a number of moving tasks that have to be completed, including sorting and packing your parent's belongings. It is entirely possible that your parent could have decades of belongings stored in his or her home. Taking on this task alone is possible, but if you enlist the help of others, it is far easier.
One of the first steps you can take is to create a list of tasks that must be completed to pack up and move the belongings. Be sure to include tasks, such as disconnecting the utilities and paying the final balances. Once you have a list, arrange a family meeting and start delegating tasks.
When you delegate a task, set a timeline for completing it, and check in periodically to ensure that the task is done by the due date. Try to make the process as stress-free as possible for your parent.
Stay in Contact With Your Parent
A fear that many elderly people express is that family members will forget them once they are moved into an independent living facility. The fear can make it difficult for your parent to adjust to the new living environment.
It is because of this, family and friends need to stay in contact with your parent. When visits are not possible, a phone call will do. If your parent is Internet savvy, video chats and emails also help to stay in touch.
Your parent needs to learn to get involved in the community in which he or she lives now. It is fine to leave the facility to have fun, but also try to get your parent to remain at the facility and participate in on-site activities. Your parent not only gets to see you, but also has a chance to make new friends.
The independent living facility director can also help you find other ways to help your parent transition to the new living space. Keep communications open with the director and work on a game plan together.