Protecting an Elderly Loved One

Tips For Moving A Loved One Into Senior Assisted Living

by Margie Adams

Moving into a senior assisted living facility can be a necessary but difficult transition. If you have a loved one going through this transition, use these tips to make the process as easy as possible.

Find a Well-Match Facility

No one senior assisted living facility is right for everyone. Help your loved one find the facility that's well-matched for them. They might want a facility where:

  • They know someone on staff
  • The fees are below their maximum budget
  • Activities are regularly scheduled
  • Religious leaders offer regular services
  • Rooms have outside patios or balconies

Discuss what your loved one would prefer, and then help them identify a short list of potential facilities. From this list, you and your loved one can choose the best option.

Give Away Belongings

When a loved one moves into a senior assisted living facility, one of the most challenging tasks is downsizing. Most people's homes are larger than the rooms at a facility. 

Your loved one will likely find downsizing easier if they give possessions away, rather than throw them away. 

Ask them whether they'd like to pass on any cherished belongings to family members. Grown children might appreciate some of your loved one's furniture, decor, or dishes. Young grandchildren might like old photographs, toys, or games. Perhaps someone in the family is in need of a vehicle. Giving belongings to family members can benefit everyone.

For the belongings that family members don't want or can't use, ask your loved one if they'd like to give the items to charity. Non-sentimental items are especially good to give to charities. Your loved one will have an easier time giving these away, and they'll enjoy knowing that they can still contribute to the betterment of other people's lives.

Personalize the Room

Personalize your loved one's senior assisted living facility room with their most cherished possessions. Set up a few photographs, and hang a couple of the decorations that they have at home. You can even discuss changing some basic fixtures, such as the phone, with one that's your loved one's favorite color.

Connect With the Community

The social community at senior assisted living facilities can be lively, but your loved one may need time to become connected. Regularly encourage them to make new friends and to attend events. When you visit your loved one, stop in the hallways to talk with other residents that you see. Your loved one will be more comfortable meeting people whom you've also met.