Even if you’re moving into assisted living willingly, it can be quite an emotional affair. You might be afraid of losing your independence, your home, and your youthful past. You might also fear aging, making new friends, and adapting to a strange new place. But fear not – these ten strategies will help you to combat any negative feelings that you might experience when transitioning into assisted living in Winston Salem NC.
Visit frequently before the move.
Once you and your family have selected a senior living community, you don’t have to move in right away. On the other hand, you should visit it frequently first before moving in properly. Attend events and meals and that will help you get better acquainted with the layout, the residents, and the community staff. That way when you are ready to move in, everyone won’t seem like a total stranger.
Stay in touch with loved ones.
The first few months of assisted living are the toughest. During this period of transition, you’ll appreciate communication with your loved ones more than anything else. Keep the communication flowing. If possible, you and your family members or friend can schedule specific times of the week to talk on the phone. This will also give you something to look forward to every week!
Give it time!
Experts say that it takes 3-6 months to adjust to assisted living on average. During this adjustment period, you’ll want to focus on the reasons why you decided to move into assisted living. These reasons likely include an increased sense of safety, security, more healthy living, and social well being.
No matter how you may be feeling at the moment, try to keep the big picture in mind.
Everyone experiences hurdles when moving into assisted living. Hurdles can happen even when things seem to be going great, and just when you start settling in things might seem to change:
you might feel lonely
you might not like your new dining hall friends
you might want to go home
It’s important to remember that these initial feelings are normal, and they will pass.
Surround yourself with your personal belongings.
When moving into assisted living, this often means downsizing. That can feel demoralizing but it doesn’t have to be. Just bring your favorite things from home and that will make a huge difference.
You can’t bring all of the big things with you, but how about some smaller items? Photographs of family and friends, favorite books, art pieces, pillows and blankets, and your mother’s favorite teacup can all easily fit in the room. When moving into a new home, there’s no reason to leave the comfort behind!
When you bring your personal belongings with you, you’ll help reinforce the belief that you’re not just abandoning your old life; you’re starting a new chapter.
Don’t overwhelm yourself.
Bringing the comforts of home with you can help ease the transition into assisted living. You should even take this principle a step further and try and make your new room in assisted living just like the room in your home (minus the larger stuff).
That will really help a lot in adjusting to assisted living in Winston Salem NC!
Now you’ll have your favorite things from home, which will make you feel more comfortable right off the bat. That’s enough for the time being. You don’t want to add too many new things all at once.
Adjusting to the facility, the people, the new food, and routines is enough on its own. You don’t need to add a bunch of new and unfamiliar gadgets and appliances into the mix. Save those things for later after you’re feeling comfortable and settled in first.
Get help from the staff.
You might feel overwhelmed by all of the new people when transitioning into assisted living. However, you should get acquainted with the staff right away. They are friendly and can help you get into the swing of things. The staff can help serve as a bridge into assisted living.
Just don’t wait for them to come to you. The staff is likely very busy, and you have to let them know what you need to adjust into assisted living fully.
For example, if you’re brand new to the facility, you could ask the staff to remind you when activities are occurring or to introduce you to the new residents at the dining hall.
Don’t have a “too cool for school” attitude.
This attitude is easy to adopt as a sort of coping mechanism. We advise you not to fall into this trap. When adjusting to assisted living, it’s always better to get involved in activities and make new friends in the community.
The good news is that assisted living communities tend to have a wide variety of activities available for most interests, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding something fun to do.
Help out in the community.
Purpose. That’s something that every human being needs, and residents in assisted living in Winston Salem, NC are no exception. There are many ways that you can find meaning as a new resident. You can either pursue your own hobbies and interests or become a helpful member of the community. Some roles need to be filled such as answering phones, running the library, or leading a club. If you’re the proactive type, then making yourself useful can greatly improve your outlook and transition into assisted living.
Consult with a doctor if necessary.
If you really feel like you can’t handle the transition, then contact a reputable mental health professional. They will be able to address your concerns properly and help you cope with feelings of anxiety, anger, or depression.
Don’t feel any shame about setting an appointment for this. Some seniors are facing very heavy stuff in their life that they can’t deal with on their own. You wouldn’t be the first person to schedule an appointment, and you certainly won’t be the last.