As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, senior living communities like Sunrise have learned how to adapt. That includes being among the first to hold vaccine clinics for residents and staff. It’s another step forward in our commitment to resident health and safety.
For those families who are helping a senior loved one prepare for a move to assisted living, we know you likely have concerns. One of which is how to make this transition go smoothly. Moving is never easy no matter your age or situation. But it’s true that COVID-19 worries are likely to make this change feel more stressful than usual.
From good nutrition to on-site caregivers around-the-clock, it’s important to remember that a senior’s quality of life usually improves following a move to an assisted living community. With a little extra planning, your senior loved one’s transition will go better. Here are a few tips you will likely find useful.
Preparing for a Move to an Assisted Living Community
- Clarify the process: One of the challenges with COVID-19 has been the roller coaster of surges and ebbs in the number of cases in a particular city or state. These trends directly impact a senior living community’s move-in processes. For example, will your family member be quarantined for 10 days after moving in? If your family elder hasn’t yet been vaccinated, can the community help with those arrangements? Be sure you know what to expect ahead of time.
- Create a detailed floor plan: Ask the team at the community for the floor plan of your family member’s new residence. When you have the dimensions for each room, it’s easier to make decisions regarding furniture. As you are downsizing your loved one’s current home, and trying to figure out what to take and what to rehome, having a floor plan will help.
- Set up video chat apps ahead of time: While many people have taken advantage of video chat services to communicate with friends and family over the last year, not all seniors are comfortable setting things up on their own. Make sure you have Zoom or Skype loaded on their tablet or laptop so they are ready to chat after moving in.
- Build relationships before moving: During normal times, assisted living communities encourage seniors who will be moving in to visit and get to know the staff and residents. If coronavirus concerns prohibit that, work on connecting by phone. Ask key staff to call your loved one at predetermined times. Video chat will allow them to put names to faces. Perhaps the team could also ask a few residents to call your family member too? Starting new relationships may make the transition a little easier.
- Make the new space look familiar: There is comfort in the familiar as you make big changes in life. By creating a new home that resembles the old one, you might help reduce your family member’s loneliness after the move. Family photos, favorite wall art, and other cherished belongings prominently displayed can be a solace.
Finally, we encourage you to review the tools and videos in the Designing for Seniors section of our website. Among other helpful resources is our Interactive Floor Plan. It will help you determine the best way to arrange furniture in the senior’s new home!