As a caregiver, you give your all to take care of your aging parent or loved one.
You want them to stay in their family home as long as they’re able to. But you may worry about leaving them home alone.
It’s hard to know when it’s the right time to talk to your parent about moving into assisted living. They may even object to it initially. It’s often the best decision you can make to improve your loved one’s health and happiness.
To learn how to move a parent into assisted living, we can help ease the transition, financially and emotionally.
Find an Assisted Living Community that’s a Good Fit
There are roughly 29,000 assisted living communities in the US today. With so many options, you’ll need to narrow down your choices to find the perfect community for your loved one. We’ve compiled some considerations to help you pick the right choice.
Many families pay for assisted living costs using a combination of money sources — savings, Social Security benefits, retirement accounts, and pensions.
For veterans, there’s also the option to apply for VA benefits that can help pay for assisted living.
Oftentimes, a family might consider selling their loved one’s home to cover their assisted living costs, or using a reverse mortgage.
Other ways families collect money to pay for assisted living include:
- Life insurance applied towards “living benefits”
- Pooling family resources, having the whole family pitch in to pay for rent
- Long-term care insurance
- Renting out your loved one’s home
If you’re unsure of the costs and how you’re going to afford assisted living, reach out to the community for financial support. They’ll likely have resources to help you figure out financing.
Before you settle on an assisted living community, find out the healthcare support that’s offered, and more importantly, not offered. This makes all the difference in choosing a new home where your loved one can “age in place.”
For this reason, it’s important to find enhanced assisted living communities. These types of assisted living communities offer round-the-clock care, including a team of licensed nurses who can administer medication and provide support with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and personal care.
If your loved one requires rehabilitation, physical therapy, or occupational therapy, research to see if these services are offered on-site.
Lastly, finding a community with a dedicated memory care unit makes all the difference for loved ones who are developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. You can rest assured knowing that your loved one with memory loss will be taken care of, even as their disease progresses.
Some residents who are religious may feel comfort in moving to a religion-based assisted living community that reflects their spiritual values. Others may decide to move into a community because of its physical location, near golf courses or entertainment choices, for example.
When choosing a new community, find out what its culture is like ahead of time. This can mean a difference in attitudes between staff and residents. Ideally, you’ll find a community that treats your loved ones as you treat them — with love and care.
How to Smoothly Transition from Home to Assisted Living
Families looking into how to move a parent to assisted living online will find it’s a multi-stepped process, involving money discussions and dealing with complex emotions. But there are some steps you can take to ease this transition for everyone.
How to Make Moving out of the Home Easier
Take your parents to different assisted living communities to look at the floor plans and suites available. Many communities offer apartments or shared suites for individuals, or senior couples making the move. Once you get an idea of the dimensions of the living space, you can begin downsizing at home.
Tips for a smooth downsizing process include:
- Create a moving checklist to keep you organized
- Start with rooms that are used least
- Don’t be mean or bossy when your parent doesn’t want to give something up —put items in an “undecided” pile to go through later
- Donate items to charity
- Hire professional movers to lighten the burden of heavy lifting
- Take time to make it a gradual process — don’t make the move in a matter of days, unless absolutely necessary
- Collect your parent’s more prized possessions and set them aside in a separate box to decorate their new room
Ways to Ease your Loved One into the Emotional Transition
Now that your loved one is living in their new community, you’ll want to find little ways to continue supporting them emotionally as they transition into their new home. These could include:
- Visit and call them often
- Allow them to vent their frustrations to you
- Decorate their new room with their favorite items
- Get to know the staff at the community, and research the available amenities for your loved one.
- Allow them time to adjust to their new home — it can take a couple of months to adjust to assisted living
Ways to Ease Your Own Emotions and Dealing with Caregiver’s Guilt
Seniors living at home, even with the assistance of a family caregiver, are prone to isolation and depression, which can worsen their health and cognitive abilities.
You may also worry about your loved one when you leave their home, afraid they might trip and fall, or leave the burners on.
There comes a time when you can no longer provide the level of care your loved one requires, and ultimately both of you suffer. If you are neglecting your own health and family because of caregiving demands, then it’s time to consider assisted living.
Seniors who live in assisted living have access to doctors, physical therapists, nurses, and have the opportunity to make new friends and build new memories. All of this contributes to a longer, happier, and healthier life.
It might hurt to move your parent out of your family home, but doing so will benefit your elderly parent’s health and your health too. Isn’t that most important?
Learn More About The Kensington Redondo Beach — An Assisted Living and Memory Care Community
The Kensington Redondo Beach is an enhanced assisted living and memory care residence located in Redondo Beach, California.
Our enhanced program enables us to offer a full spectrum of clinical support, including a nursing staff on-site 24/7.
Unlike other assisted living communities that have limited medical services, we can continue caring for residents even when their health care needs drastically change or increase.
At the Kensington Redondo Beach, we extend our Kensington Promise to love and care for your family as we do our own.If you have any questions regarding our services, amenities, or have general questions about how to move a parent to assisted living, we welcome you to reach out to us.