5 Ways to Help Your Loved One Adjust to Senior Living in Auburn, IN

June 15, 2024 | Senior Living
senior living auburn in

When someone you love moves into a senior living community, it can be an emotional journey. While it is a significant change, this new chapter of life is an opportunity for growth, community and continued care and you want to ensure your loved one is comfortable and happy in their new environment. As a result, there are several proactive steps you, as a family member, should take to support them.

Astral at Auburn provides a welcoming senior living community in Auburn, IN, and we strive to help individuals and families adjust to this new chapter. Here are five strategies for helping older adults adapt to their new home and community.

1. Encourage New Connections & Friendships

It’s common for older adults to feel isolated or alone when they first move to a new environment. Transitioning from the familiarity of home to a place with its own routines can be unsettling. To combat this, make it a point to help your loved ones engage with their new community.

Spend time getting to know the team members and encourage your loved one to do the same. Identify social activities your loved one enjoys and actively support their participation. Additionally, help them make connections with other residents. Shared hobbies and experiences often form the bridge to new friendships, so finding opportunities for these shared interests can be incredibly beneficial.

Consider joining your loved one for meals or activities during the initial weeks to help them adjust to the social rhythm of the community. This simple act shows support and may alleviate any anxiety or uncertainty they might be experiencing.

2. Personalize Their Living Space

Personal space is sacred, no matter your age. A personalized living area can become a source of comfort for older adults in a new environment. Helping them decorate their new space in a familiar and comforting way can ease the sense of displacement that often comes with relocation.

Work with your loved one to incorporate items from their previous home, such as favorite furniture, family photos or cherished mementos. Having a few familiar pieces around them can create a sense of continuity, making their new residence feel more like home. There is an emotional attachment to one’s space, and surrounding them with items that have sentimental value can significantly alleviate the feeling of change and uncertainty that often accompanies a move.

3. Create a Consistent Visitation Schedule

After someone you love moves to a senior living community in Auburn, IN, it’s important to establish a consistent and invigorating visiting schedule.

Family visits can be tailored to suit the individual’s preferences, ranging from casual drop-ins to planned outings and group events. Regular contact and interactions, whether in person or through video calls and letters, demonstrate that your loved one remains an important part of your life and that you are dedicated to their well-being. Discussing the importance of these visits with your family can ensure that the responsibility is shared and that your loved one will have something to look forward to on a reliable basis.

4. Support Transitions at Their Own Pace

Transitioning to a senior living community is a process, not an event. It can be helpful to remind yourself and your loved one that adjustment takes time. Encouraging them to take things at their own pace and respecting their need for transition and adjustment is crucial.

Not every move-in detail, such as unpacking, attending social events or even the general idea of calling a new place “home,” will occur immediately. It’s okay to move slowly and to retread steps as necessary. Be patient and reassured when they express feelings of unfamiliarity or discomfort. It’s a delicate balance to encourage them to adapt while letting them lead the way in their emotional and logistical transitioning process. By offering a patient and supportive environment, new routines can be established in a manner that feels natural and less forced.

5. Stay Involved in their Care and Daily Life

Remaining involved in the day-to-day aspects of their life is a key element of their adjustment. It indicates that you’re interested in their care and new experiences and that you’re still their advocate within the community.

Stay informed about their daily routines, recreational activities and healthcare protocols. Regular communication with the team members can provide valuable insights into how your loved one is managing and can give you peace of mind. Involvement doesn’t have to be overbearing. It’s about maintaining an open line of communication that keeps you connected to their new life and highlights the role that their community plays in their care.

Offer your support through both tangible and emotional means. Small gestures like bringing in a plant for their room or discussing the books they’re reading during your last phone call can go a long way in affirming the relationship you have with them and the centralized importance of family in their life, no matter where they reside.

A move to senior living represents a significant change that requires patience, empathy and active engagement from family members. Implementing these strategies can help smooth the transition and maintain a high quality of life for your loved one. Compassionate support, combined with a customized approach to their needs and preferences, fosters an environment where they can flourish in their new community. 

We invite you to contact our team today to learn more about a senior living community in Auburn, IN!

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