Moving to a Houston assisted living community, like The Buckingham, is a special time for your family. Your parent may be excited to explore what The Buckingham has to offer, nervous about making friends or unsure what to expect when they arrive.
Even if you’re confident in the care decision, you may be anxious about your parent’s transition. Change can be tough and there is so much to think about as your parent moves to assisted living. Here are our top tips on how to ease this key transition for your parent and ensure an exceptional experience from the moment they walk in the doors of The Buckingham.
1. Listen to Your Parent’s Preferences
Care planning is a team effort. As you choose the right assisted living community for your parent, it’s essential to include them in the conversation. Discover what services they consider must-haves, as well as any fears or doubts they have about assisted living. By talking through these areas in advance, you can define what matters most to your parent.
2. Assess Assisted Living Needs Upfront
Assisted living is all about guaranteeing daily support so that your parent can enhance their independence now and in the future. To find the right balance, you should identify their care needs in advance. Get an Activities for Daily Living (ADL) wellness review from your parent’s physician or assisted living community professional so that you know the level of support they require upfront.
3. Visit the Community Before Moving In
Taking things slow is often best. Make it as easy as possible for your parent by visiting before move in. Consider signing your parent up for an on-site class or have a few meals together in the dining room beforehand.
Getting some initial comfort with the community can help them feel at home from the first day. In addition, it’s an excellent opportunity to build rapport with team members and generate excitement by showing your parent some of the community’s high-end amenities.
4. Downsize Early and Strategically
Downsizing can be an emotional experience, so start this process as early as possible. It can take months and lots of effort to sort through a lifetime of items. We recommend assigning yourself a different room every one to two weeks and working through the home in an organized fashion.
Overall, you can utilize your parent’s new floor plan as a guide for what to bring. Decide on the priority items that will fit in this space and then sell, donate, give to family or toss the rest. As a general rule of thumb, don’t allow a “maybe” pile, or you’ll find yourself with a hefty stack of things you still need to sort through.
5. Make a Logistics Checklist
It’s time to get all your ducks in a row. Ensure the transition to assisted living is flawless by creating a logistics checklist for all the items you need to coordinate, such as filling medications, paying bills or scheduling moving day activities. Take the lead on the logistics so your parent isn’t fretting about missing things that they need to start this next chapter on the right foot.
6. Set Up the Living Space in Advance
A first impression is everything. If possible, set up your parent’s new apartment in advance. Take the time to decorate the space with comforting or familiar furniture from their home and personalized items (such as photos, favorite books, homemade blankets, etc.).
In general, try to avoid buying new items for your parent during this transition time. For example, a new phone or coffee maker can add to the stress of a different environment. Stick to comforting, personal items that will make the assisted living apartment truly feel like home.
7. Encourage Early Connections
A top-tier lifestyle in assisted living starts with creating connections. Encourage your parent to get involved, especially within the first few months, in order to meet new neighbors and integrate into the community as a whole.
Suggest clubs or classes to take, or create a social calendar of events that they could attend in the first month. For example, there are a wealth of programs at The Buckingham to keep individuals engaged and connected. Mealtime is also an opportunity for your parent to get to know other residents and build relationships with team members.
8. Offer Your Parent Emotional Support
It will take time for your parent to feel 100% comfortable in their new home in an assisted living community. Make yourself available in the first few months so that your parent feels supported. For example, you might choose to have lunch together every Saturday at the community so you can talk about how things are going and provide emotional support.
9. Advocate for Your Parent as Needed
Finally, if you notice any issues during this time of transition, speak up. It’s important to communicate with team members and management if there’s something your parent needs. Often community team members are happy to address your concerns or accommodate your requests. Advocate for your parent wherever possible so that every detail enhances their daily experience.
Get Deluxe, Ongoing Support at The Buckingham
Your family or friend’s assisted living journey has just begun. Be sure to follow these tips for an ideal transition and reach out to The Buckingham in order to get deluxe, ongoing support during this time.
At The Buckingham, assisted living residents get empowering support in order to enjoy an active, luxury lifestyle. Get in touch with our team on our online form or by calling (713) 730-2633 to learn more about how we create personalized care plans and fulfilling everyday experiences.
Assisted Living Transition FAQs
How often should I visit?
It’s up to you how often to visit your parent in assisted living. While it’s common for families to visit several times a week in the initial months of move in, these visits tend to level off as your parent integrates into the community. Once you feel comfortable that your parent is thriving, you might have a regular weekly or bi-weekly visit (whether in-person or through virtual technology).
Should I hire a senior move manager?
It depends on your needs. Senior move managers specialize in organizing the downsizing and moving process for older adults. If you’re on a tight schedule for moving your parent out of a family home, you may benefit from hiring a senior move manager. In addition, if you don’t have much assistance with the sorting process, it can be nice to have a professional help you out.