Sometimes, as people grow older, they may lose some of the abilities they once had. Things that used to be simple become a challenge. When that starts to include basic tasks required for daily living, it’s time to think about transitioning to an assisted living community.

For some people, this idea may not be a welcome one. It’s normal for individuals to be in denial or become combative at the thought of moving to a strange place. Fortunately, there are things to make the transition easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable.

Present The Transition As An Opportunity

When bringing up the idea of assisted living, do so in a non-threatening way. Don’t make it sound like the person involved has no choice or say in the matter. Also, don’t make the new community seem like a strange or scary place. Instead, broach the topic gently and with sensitivity. Make it sound like an exciting opportunity with lots of benefits.

For example, play up the fact that, in one of these communities, there will be activities designed for fun and socialization. Family members could also discuss how, in such a community, their loved one would not have to take care of home or lawn maintenance. By showcasing the transition as the positive, advantageous opportunity it is, loved ones may be able to avoid denial and refusal altogether.

Work To Understand The Person’s Feelings

All people deserve to be treated with respect and understanding, including the elderly or those with memory issues. Don’t discount a loved one’s feelings just because they may not be in the best state of mind. When you bring up the topic of assisted living with memory care, let the person speak and express how they feel.

When met with anger, resentment, or other frustrating emotions, try and understand where the other person is coming from. For example, they might feel afraid of leaving behind their current life or ashamed of needing assistance in the first place.

Remember, the more understanding and empathetic you are, the more likely it is that the person will express their true feelings. Once those true feelings are out in the open, they are easier to work through. Loved ones may also want to consider bringing along a counselor or other support person to help the individual process the conversation and their feelings about it. This can make for a more productive discussion and better results.

Don’t Be Afraid To Take A Break

For some people, new information or ideas can take a while to process. If family members have already brought up the topic of moving to an assisted living community in Anaheim, CA, but have been met with disapproval or denial, take a step back. Unless the person is in immediate danger, give them some time away from the topic, and let them think about and process the idea.

After some time has passed, bring up the idea again. This time, try a new approach or have someone else bring up the topic. Doing so shows respect for the person in question and can keep them from becoming overwhelmed, which can cause further anger and resistance.

Schedule A Visit Or Two

Abrupt changes can be difficult for people. Try and ease a loved one into the idea of senior living a little at a time. For example, schedule a visit or tour of the new community. Or, have someone from the community come over and talk with your loved one about it and answer questions.

Some families have also had success with a gradual transition to an in-home caregiver or an adult day facility, followed by a move to a live-in facility. It’s okay to take baby steps. Just know that any progress is a good thing and that the end goal is to make the person comfortable and happy with the change.

Get Everyone On The Same Page

As a final tip, make sure every family member is on board with the idea of the loved one moving to the new community. When different people have different views and are arguing and presenting these views to the elderly person, it can cause confusion and hurt. This can make the person even more resistant to the idea of care for seniors. Try to have a helpful family conversation ahead of time, and get everyone in agreement before bringing the idea up to the elderly loved one.

Doing the right thing for someone you love isn’t always easy. But, with a little understanding and the right approach, the transition to a new community can be handled in a sensitive, positive way. These tips, along with support and care all around, can make the change easier for everyone involved.

Arbor Palms of Anaheim is committed to providing quality care for seniors. We believe in fostering a healthy mind and body and offer unique activities for fun, engagement, socialization, and growth. Every Arbor Palms resident is treated with care and respect at all times and is a valuable member of our community.