If you have a parent or loved one who needs to be placed in assisted living, you may be worried that their wellbeing will suffer as a result. Changing routines and moving to a new location can be challenging for seniors, but there are several things that you and the assisted living staff can do to make the change a positive one. Here are some ways to promote wellbeing for your loved one.
Foster Strong Staff Relationships
One key to positive health from the start is to foster close relationships with the staff members at the facility. It's a good idea to let your loved one get to know the management and operations staff ahead of time so that they can feel comfortable having them be involved in the new lifestyle. Instead of being unwelcome intruders, these new people can act as a positive social connection for your loved one to provide daily stimulation.
Encourage Mental Exercise
One key to adapting to a new assisted living community is to keep your loved one's mind sharp so that they can take the changes on their feet. You may want to send in regular crossword puzzles and other mental challenges, or find a facility with staff who are educated in geriatric mental health. Your facility may design some intellectual challenges into their programming, such as by hosting chess matches or having a great library of books.
Provide Emotional Engagement
Finally, there are many things that you can do to provide emotional comfort and positivity. For instance, some families will send regular care packages with activities, newspapers or foods to remind the person of the things they love to do. Keeping up with favorite hobbies can also provide a strong mood boost; check with your facility beforehand to see if they can accommodate a special hobby or interest your loved one has. Finally, the feel of the space can affect emotion, so make sure that the decorations are personal and inviting in your assisted living home.
So, in spite of the initial disruptions in your loved one's routine, a great assisted living plan can actually help to promote greater emotional, mental, and social wellbeing by providing your loved one with more resources to get their needs met. It's important to keep monitoring your loved one to see how their needs change over time in their new home, and create a plan with your assisted living staff to keep the positive vibes going.
For more information and tips, talk with local assisted living centers in your area, such as Cokato Charitable Trust - Cokato Manor.