Deciding to leave your family home and transition to an independent living community is a big adjustment. Not only can it be emotional for your senior loved one, but there also is the challenge of downsizing from a big home filled with years worth of belongings to more conservative apartment living. No matter the circumstances, it’s going to take time for mom or dad to realize this move is in everyone’s best interest, and to settle into their new home and life. Fortunately, as their child and support system, there are things you can do to help them transition to independent living more successfully.
Be completely honest. Sometimes it doesn’t help to be overly positive at the expense of truth about the change. Instead, let them know that they can be honest with you about their emotions at all times, and in turn be honest and empathetic with them. Validate their feelings when they express how sad they are to leave the home they raised children in. But also remind them that it’s a part of life to keep moving forward and that independent community living will relieve a lot of the stresses of homeownership and provide them social outlets they may be lacking..
Tackle packing together. Putting emotions aside for a minute, packing in and of itself can be a chore. And taking on packing up and moving an entire house is almost impossible to do alone. To help mom and dad transition easier to independent living, offer to help them pack up (and get rid of) their belongings. We recommend starting with the smallest room in the house and working your way up, making “yes” and “no” piles only – no maybes! This could also become a more positive, bonding experience with the whole family by letting mom and dad reminisce about each belonging, and even pass on some beloved heirlooms to each family member.
Encourage them to get more involved. After the dust has settled and mom or dad has moved into their new independent living apartment, it’s important that they establish a new routine. Schedules are important to helping someone transition into a new life. The beauty about community living is that there are tons of new activities that your loved one can get involved in. Remind your senior parent that without the stresses of homeownership they now have more time to pursue their hobbies and even try something new that they always wanted to do. If your parent needs a little more of a push to get involved, reach out to their community’s activity director and ask for help. They will be more than happy to provide mom and dad with an activity schedule and even escort them to fun events happening around the community.
Independent Living Community in New Jersey
Our collective aim at Lester Independent Living is to ensure that each of our residents maintain their dignity, quality of life and independence, no matter what. Our wonderful activity directors encourage residents to get involved with social activities, clubs and events on-site, while receiving the level of care they require. Personal care services can also be scaled so that each resident gets the help they need to live independently and happily in our welcoming community.
For more information about how we can help your loved one transition to independent living, please call us today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org
The original blog is posted on: https://jchcorp.org/helping-a-parent-transition-to-independent-living/