Get expert tips on moving to assisted living
Moving to assisted living can be an overwhelming experience for both you and your older adult. We asked a senior living expert for advice on 4 common issues related to moving into and living in assisted living.
Our expert, Arthur Bretschneider, has the senior housing business in his blood – his family has been in the business for three generations. Now Arthur is founder and CEO of Seniorly, a company that makes it easier for families to find local senior housing options.
4 tips for common issues with moving to assisted living
Question 1: Seniors who refuse to move
What should families do if their older adult needs to move to assisted living for their own health and safety, but they refuse to go?
This is a very difficult situation. The first thing to do is get their primary care physician involved. Sometimes it’s also good to get a Geriatric Care Manager or some other care advocate to help you in this situation. They’re professionals who understand how to get control of the crisis.
Many times, getting a 3rd party involved is not an option. In this case, families need to present this as an option that their senior is going to rather than from. Meaning, frame the move in a way that it’s better than where the individual is now.
They aren’t moving away from their home, they are moving to a community that will give them more control of their days and remove the need to worry about other things.
Question 2: Ease the transition to assisted living
Moving to assisted living is a big change for most older adults. What can families do to make the transition easier?
Every family is unique and there is no straight answer to this question. In fact, some transitions are not difficult at all.
For the ones that do have difficulty transitioning, things that could help include:
- Making their new room or apartment feel as homelike as possible
- Being around to assist in the transition (or sometimes the opposite depending on the individual)
- Keeping the individual connected with a phone, tablet, or computer
- Visiting during meals or activities to help make connections
Or it could be as simple as making sure you find a community that allows them to keep their pet.
Question 3: Is the care good?
How can families know for sure that their older adult is getting good care in their new assisted living community? This is especially important when the older adult can’t communicate well enough to tell family if something is wrong.
Random visits are a good way to learn about the care in a community. Families that visit during different times of day and on weekends can get a better picture of what is going on in a community.
If they are unable to visit or are unsure, the first step is to arrange a care plan meeting. This is a meeting with care staff and administrators.
If you don’t get anywhere with the care plan meeting, contact the local Ombudsman program. Ombudsmen are advocates for residents in nursing homes, board and care homes, and assisted living communities.
Question 4: Resolve ongoing problems
If there’s a problem with their senior’s care, family members usually try talking with the staff and management to resolve the issue. But if the same problems keep happening, what else can families do to help their older adult?
In these situations, the first step is talking to the administrator and voicing your concerns (meaning: schedule a care plan meeting).
It could be a caregiver problem during a specific shift or something else that is changeable. If you are facing something that can’t be changed, or the management is refusing to change, then it’s time to consider a new community.
When families have problems with a facility, it’s often the person living in the community (your senior) that feels the most stress. Sometimes moving to a new community is the best outcome for everyone.
You might also like:
— Paying for Assisted Living
— Considering Assisted Living? 3 Tips from an Industry Expert
— Senior Housing Options Overview
Seniorly is an online tool to help families find and connect with senior housing providers. Seniorly empowers people to make their own choices by giving them a streamlined search process with tools and a secure space to collaborate with family and friends.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Atria Senior Living