There’s so much information on how to downsize for senior living. You’ll find tips on how to sell your loved one’s home, how to declutter their stuff and even resources on how to move. We’ve even discussed these very things in a previous blog [link to Downsizing Tips as You Prepare for Senior Living]. But, there’s a very important aspect of downsizing in which you won’t find as many how-tos: navigating the emotions that come with it. After all, a move to senior living is one of the biggest life changes your loved one (and your family) will face. These tips can help make it easier.
Overcoming the Fears
Any life change comes with some nerves. But for your loved one, this move may come with some very real fears. Regardless of where they are moving – to senior living or in with you – it’s often seen as a tipping point in terms of aging. Some of the most common fears for seniors are:
- Loss of independence
- Having to depend on others
- Not being able to drive
- Being isolated and lonely
- Becoming incapacitated
To help, let your loved one know it’s OK to open up to you. Your empathy and patience will give them comfort and can even bring you closer. Not to mention, your reassurance that you’ll still be just as much a part of each other’s lives will go a long way in putting their mind at ease. Particularly if, once the move is complete, you pre schedule some times to visit. It gives them something to look forward to and they’ll know you’re serious.
Downsizing for Senior Living Together
As you prepare for the move it’s important to include your loved one as much as possible. Because the more involved they are, the more confidence they will have in this decision. Not to mention having a sense of ownership in the process can also help alleviate any fear over losing independence.
One way to do this is to help plan your loved one’s new space before the move. Simply ask the community for a copy of the floor plan or many also offer videos and/or room planners online that can help you both visualize how you want to set up their private space. We encourage our residents to personalize their space as much as possible so they truly feel at home here.
What’s more, helping your loved one pack can also be an opportunity to reconnect and reminisce. In addition to comfortable clothing, personal care items and bedding, also make sure to include:
- Comfort items like a favorite blanket, throw and/or pillows
- Photos and keepsakes
- Favorite snacks, books and/or music
But, check with the community before you pack as they often have a list of recommended items which can help the process go more smoothly.
An Easier Transition in Boutique Senior Living
Often one of the best ways to navigate the emotions of downsizing is to give your loved one reassurance that the transition may be easier than they think. While you may not think that’s possible with a move to a large, institutional feeling senior living community; know that there is an alternative. For example, we offer boutique senior living which provides residential care in a single-family home!
Our boutique senior living homes are specially crafted for assisted living or memory care with 10 to 16 residents max and a nearly unheard of 1 to 5 caregiver to resident ratio so your loved one can enjoy the personalized attention and care they deserve.
It’s an environment that feels comfortable and familiar from the décor to the layout and large yard to family-style meals on one of our signature homemade farm tables. Even the charming neighborhood location may feel similar to where your loved one lives now.
Your loved one won’t lack for any of the amenities of those large communities either as we also offer laundry and cleaning services, complimentary Wi-Fi, transportation and safety features such as fall alert pendants, state-of-the-art video monitoring and keypad entry/exit access. What’s more, our activity programs include exercises, socialization, cognitive stimulation and immersive activities as well as outings and live entertainment.
It’s proof positive that your loved one can be safe, comfortable and still making the most of life even after downsizing!
For more information on boutique senior living at Shepherd Premier, download our Family Decision Toolkit or call (224) 333-6247 to speak to a team member.