Congratulations! You’ve made a big move that will open up a world of freedom and fun, as well as offer peace of mind about the future. Welcome to your new home. Whether you are the one who made the move, or you have helped a loved one find the perfect retirement address, there are some tricks to setting in comfortably right from the start.
At Senior Star, we are here to help you, because making a positive difference in seniors’ lives is our commitment. So here are a few ideas on how to get that “at home” feeling quickly!
Helping you settle into your new senior living home
The first 30 days really are a key time in a new senior living community. All your preparation beforehand has paved the way for a successful transition. During this period, you’ll want to walk around the community enough times for you to feel comfortable with the layout. You’ve made at least one friend and are regularly attending events and activities.
However, if socializing has never been your thing, it’s okay. The main goal is that you have made some connections and feel comfortable.
Here are some more thoughts on how to feel right at home right away:
- Build your nest. It can be easy to concentrate so hard on arranging your apartment, setting up spaces and coordinating colors and styles that you forget to just sit and relax in your senior living new home. Take a breath. Look around occasionally and just get a sense of how it feels. Is something missing, like a few plants? Your grandchild’s photo? Is your favorite throw on the couch when you want some cozy time with a good book?
- Invite one person over. Don’t wait until every detail is figured out in your new senior living home before having others see it. Go ahead and have someone come over—a neighbor or staff member—for a coffee break or appetizer before dinner. Inviting someone into your space makes it really yours, and it’s a wonderful way to break the ice.
- Take up one new hobby. This is your chance to learn to paint. Try baking. Join a Zumba class. Tackle the mystery of playing bridge or learn how to build that wooden shelf you’ve always wanted. Why wait?
- Have family join you for a meal. There are so many wonderful benefits to your new lifestyle, and delicious dining is definitely at the top of the list. Now you can have your family join you in a lovely dining setting with friendly, courteous service, an enticing menu of selections, and a pleasant atmosphere—with no stack of dishes to deal with. Having family members see what a great decision you made choosing your new senior home makes you feel good.
And at Senior Star, you don’t have to follow a rigid eating schedule. Our Anytime Dining gives you the flexibility to enjoy your meal anytime between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Bon appetit!
Helping your loved one settle into their new senior living home
It’s not uncommon for loved ones to worry about being left behind when moving to a senior living community. They may feel a sense of abandonment. To make sure your loved one knows that’s not the case, get a calendar and write down the days and times you’ll call (or Skype) and visit.
Perhaps you always had lunch together on Sundays; you can still do that! And have other family members and friends do the same. This will give your loved one plenty to look forward to and help them feel reassured. Also, regularly ask for updates to ensure your loved one is adjusting well.
Here are some other ideas:
- Help them decorate their new senior living home. Having the assistance of cheerful family members can help put a smile on your loved one’s face. Whether it’s just a few relatives, grandchildren, or cherished friends, it’s helpful to make it a fun occasion that gives your loved one an opportunity to get their space just how they want it.
- Bring grandchildren by often. If your parent is moving into assisted living, be sure to maintain frequent contact between them and their grandchildren as often as possible. It can be in person, or online. As simple as an email or Zoom call, or a surprise visit to their new senior living home on a weekday afternoon. Just letting them know they still hold an important place in the family circle will help them feel included, and it will help them feel at home where they are.
- Keep a regular lunch or dinner date. If you always took your mom to Sunday lunch at her favorite cafeteria, keep doing it whenever possible. She’ll appreciate knowing that she is still top of mind with you, and you might find that she soon will be happy to invite you to dine with her in the community instead—in her new senior living home.
- Meet the neighbors. Take time on one of your visits to get to know your parent or loved one’s neighbors. Not only will it make you feel more peace of mind knowing who is around them each day, it will reinforce to your parent that they really are home, in a wonderful “neighborhood” that is specially designed for their enjoyment.
Settling into a new senior living home can be exciting. Don’t wait to start enjoying all the perks that come with it! A more carefree, more enjoyable way to life is yours. Once you get started, you might wonder why you waited so long.
Today’s senior living is not what it used to be: and at Senior Star, we want to show you why! Download our free guide Step-by-Step: Successful Transitions to Senior Living for more helpful information. Questions about senior living? Contact us to learn more.