Helping Parents Make the Transition to Senior Living

The many benefits of Senior Living

Moving into a Senior Living Community takes some adjustment. Whether parents are transitioning to Independent Living, Assisted Living, or Memory Care, changing how and where someone lives is a process and significant transition. Thankfully, there are so many benefits to joining a new community of active older adults – such as making new friends, ease of daily living chores & maintenance, and reduced worry about monitoring & well-being.

Whether your parents or other loved ones are reluctant or excited about the process of joining a new community, here’s how you can help them make the transition:

Planning for daily living

Once parents have decided to make the move to a Senior Living Community and plans are in place – it’s best to start considering not only the logistics of moving, but also the expectations and emotions. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to your and your parents’ emotions and feelings about moving. Plan to visit often, but still give them space as they settle in. Quick daily calls after the move can remind them that they’re still very much connected to you and the broader community.

Giving it time

It might take several months before parents or other loved ones really feel at home in their new surroundings. Even if they have a hard time adjusting, feel restless at first, or talk about wanting to go home or move back – stay focused on the bigger picture and why they moved (including the carefree lifestyle, the help with daily living activities, health & wellness programs, and overall well-being)! Thrive works diligently to plan activities and ways for new residents to get to know one another and to feel well-adjusted to their new communities. Everyone adjusts at a different pace, and that’s okay – residents can expect as little or as much support as they want & need from their Thriving friends while getting settled.

Expecting setbacks

Older adults, especially those living in Memory Care Communities, might frequently say that they want to go home. Unfortunately, while it can be difficult emotionally to hear them voice such concerns, gentle reminders about their new home and the benefits it provides can be helpful. “Home” is both a place and a feeling. For new residents, it takes time for emotions and feelings to recalibrate. While setbacks can be difficult, know that adjustment takes time and that it’s okay for parents (and for you) to feel uneasy about change. 

Home reminders

While Thrive provides well-designed homes for our residents, new residents bring their own furnishings, decorations, and other housewares to truly make their space their own. Even though moving into a senior community often means downsizing (or as we call it at Thrive – “right-sizing”), it’s a great idea to bring some of those items into your parents’ new home. Such familiar items can serve as reminders and even provide reassurance. When moving into a new place, everything is new: the neighbors, the community, the team, and even daily living routines. While such newness brings many benefits, having some reminders and familiarity can help to ease the transition.

Keeping concerns in mind

At Thrive, our team truly wants to and knows just how to make new residents feel welcome in their new community. Every individual living with us is unique – and their needs, desires, and plans take on their own characteristics. With that said, sometimes new residents understandably still feel more comfortable speaking with their children and family about accommodations and what suits them best. So, if there’s ever a concern or way that we can improve your parents’ experience, please let us know! Your parents might tell you things that they did not feel comfortable sharing with our team – and while we actively work to bridge that gap with those who are new to Thrive, some also need their time to open up and really share what’s on their minds. If you ever need to communicate with us on their behalf, we’re always here to listen!

Setting boundaries and giving space

We encourage families to visit Thrive often and to hang out & spend time with their loved one. While settling into their new home, visits from family and friends often can help provide reassurance for residents as they ease into new living. Still, sometimes boundaries can be helpful to ensure that the older adult can adjust on their own. If you establish a schedule to visit, we encourage you to stick to it. This way your loved one can know when to expect you and also when you need time for yourself and to attend to other matters. While frequency and duration of visits can vary for all families, giving time for your loved one to adjust on their own is an important step in transitioning to senior living. 

Encouraging involvement

We say that moving to a Thrive community means joining a community, and there are plenty of ways and opportunities to be involved! Thrive’s locations offer exercise classes, art activities, outings, special events, seminars, and much more for all residents to see and do. So, if your parents are ready to make some new friends and try something new, Thrive offers many opportunities and experiences to ensure a life well-lived. Sometimes new residents can be hesitant to jump into social events and to hang out in common areas, and while that of course is understandable and they should go at their own pace – when they’re ready to try something new and to meet & make friends with their new neighbors, options and opportunities abound! So encourage your parents to get involved. Even if it takes some extra nudging, we think new residents will quickly realize the benefits and truly begin to thrive! 

How Thrive can help

Thrive wants all of its residents to truly feel at home while still leading their most comfortable and engaged lives – but everyone adjusts at their own pace, and moving is always a process, even when we know good and well all of the benefits it offers. 

We’ll do our very best to help your loved ones make the adjustment to living in our community. We’ll check-in, listen to their wants and needs, and help them to meet new people & try new activities. If you want to know more about Thrive or have any questions about making the move to any of our communities, contact a Thrive Senior Living community near you today.

Thrive Family Funding Guide