How To Help Your Parents Get Settled Into A Retirement Community

April 22, 2022

 It can be hard for your aging parents to accept that they can no longer live independently. If the time has come for them to move into a retirement home, then you can help them to prepare for the move, and get settled into their new home. 

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Set expectations

Allow plenty of time to make the big move. Your parents may not want to do much at once, especially if they feel reluctant to give up their home. If you think the move is going to be a slow process, then get started early. Don’t try to pack up their whole house over a weekend. Take things more slowly and take the time to talk with your parents about their memories of their home. 

Identify their most important possessions

Ask your parents which of their possessions are most important to them. Taking the things that matter most to them to the personal care home can help to make the transition a lot easier and less upsetting for everyone. If there are important family pieces, like antique furniture, that won’t fit into their new home, come up with a solution together. Perhaps they would be happy for someone else in the family to have these items, so they aren’t just thrown away. 

Get involved in the community

Downsizing a home can take a long time. If there are delays in the move, your parents might start to have doubts. To prevent this from happening, help them to feel better about it by getting involved in the community at the retirement community. Arrange for your parents to start attending events there or join in some of the arranged activities. The staff should be able to set this up for you, so you can help your parents to start getting to know the staff, making new friends, and start to feel comfortable. When moving day comes around, they are likely to feel a lot better about it, and it won’t take them as long to settle in. 

Arrange Visitors

Moving into a retirement home can be hard, and some people may be concerned about becoming disconnected from the family. Reassure them by making sure that they get plenty of visitors. Some experts suggest lots of visits during the first weeks, whereas others suggest not visiting for the first two weeks to let them settle in. You know your parents best, so decide which strategy will work the best for them.

When you feel it is time for visitors, go yourself and encourage the rest of the family and friends to visit them as well. If you can’t visit your parents as often as you want to, find other ways to help them stay connected to the family. Arrange a regular phone call, and teach them how to receive photos via their phone or email. Send pictures of the grandchildren or anything else they might like to see, so they don’t feel disconnected. Staying involved should ease some of their concerns. 

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