5 Ways to Help Your Loved Ones Adjust to Retirement Homes

June 9, 2018

Moving into a new home can be difficult at any age. But moving into a new retirement home can be a complicated process for those who have lived at their past properties for decades or more. It’s important that you work with your loved ones to help them become adjusted to the retirement home. Our team has significant experience within this process, and in this latest post, we’re presenting our five tips to help your loved ones adjust to life in a new retirement home.

1. Encourage participation

It can be understandable if your loved one wishes to spend time within their home as they get used to a new retirement community, but it’s important that you try to take the steps that will help them get used to the environment. One great option is to encourage them to take part in community events. For example, many retirement homes offer movie nights and dances. Ask your loved one if they would like to be more involved within this side of the community, but don’t push them to take part if they are insistent on being left alone. They may change their mind in the coming weeks when they meet more people within the community.

2. Visit frequently in the early weeks

Take the time to visit your loved one as they get settled within the retirement home. They might be a bit anxious about living somewhere new and having a friendly face with them as they go through this process can make it a little easier. Try to separate your visits over a few days so that they have something to look forward to within their social calendar. During your visits, make sure you ask them all about their experiences so far within the retirement home. Are they enjoying their time there? Do they need to know anything about changes taking place in the home? When possible, try to find out as much as possible from them during your visits.

3. Speak with staff about service options

Each retirement home is unique in terms of the service options they provide to residents. But you can speak with staff members directly to find out more about the types of service they provide. When speaking with staff members, find out if they have any concerns about your loved one and ensure that you establish a relationship so that the facility’s team can call you with information about your loved one.

4. Speak out if something doesn’t feel quite right

You know your loved one well enough to understand when they are going through something that is emotionally difficult. If you find that they are quieter than usual or their behavior changes substantially over time, speak with the team at the retirement facility directly about your care options. They may be able to hire additional help for your loved ones if it’s required.

5. Give them small jobs

One of the major difficulties many seniors face when living within a retirement community is the feeling that they lack control. For those who have worked for several decades and taken care of families, this lack of control can be a bewildering experience. You can help them get back a semblance of control by giving them small jobs to do. For example, you might ask that they help your children with a book report on a historical event, or that they help you with grocery shopping once a week.

Take the time to review your loved ones’ needs as they adjust to life in the retirement home. You’ll soon discover they become comfortable and learn how to develop a new sense of well-being within the community.