Tips for an Easier Transition into Independent Living
Making the move to an independent living facility marks the beginning of a new chapter for your loved one. However, that initial move can feel much more like an ending than a beginning. It’s difficult to say goodbye to your home, whether you’ve lived there for years or decades. And while residents typically forge new friendships and take up new hobbies in independent living communities, those friendships haven’t been made yet and those activities haven’t been started. To put it succinctly, the transition into independent living is a difficult and emotional process. We’ve seen many families make that transition here at NewAldaya Lifescapes, and we’ve gleaned some wisdom on how to make the move just a little easier.
Take Care to Respect Tradition and Legacy
You’re helping your loved one pack. Your mind is on the essentials. Have I packed clothes? Toiletries? Filled out all the necessary paperwork? But your loved one’s mind is likely on things that may be trivial to you. Who’s getting the crystal serving dish they’ve put out every Thanksgiving since you were a kid? What about the vase that was brought back from their honeymoon? In moving from their home, your loved one may feel like their entire history is being swept away. Telling them that this stuff doesn’t matter right now is a surefire way to make it a point of contention.
The alternative? Sit down with your loved one and have them go through the items that are important to them, the ones they want to go to a new home to continue beloved traditions. Then invite family and friends over and have your loved one pass on those items. It’s a great way to help get your loved one’s home ready to move, and to bring a sense of continuity to your loved one.
This sense of not losing sight of history also extends to traditions and celebrations that take place throughout the year. Again, your mind is likely not on holiday decorations. But that doesn’t mean your loved one is ready to trade in their cherished traditions and decorations (some of which you may have made as a kid!) for what the independent living facility will put up.
Work with your loved one to organize the items by holiday, and then make a plan to help them set up the decorations in their new place each holiday season. If no one has the space to store those decorations, consider a storage unit. Knowing they can carry on their traditions will help bridge the gap between their old home and their new one.
Bring a Sense of the Familiar
Preserving a sense of identity for your loved one is paramount to making a successful tradition. Again, it goes beyond packing what’s essential to live and considering the things that make a place feel like home. Make sure that beloved items make the move, whether they be a favorite picture, the same alarm clock they’ve had for years, or plants that they like to upkeep. Another great idea? Put together a photo album—physical or digital—for them to look at and show off. You can even put up a cork or magnetic board to mount pictures on that you can change out every time you visit.
Choose the Right Community
Easing the transition into assisted living can help set your loved one up for success and an exciting new phase of life. For more information on independent living services in Cedar Fall, IA, call NewAldaya Lifescapes at (319) 268-0401.