Kensington Park’s Annual Speaker Series: Local Author Spotlight
Tuesday, May 21 at 2pm: Paul Dickson, Bob Levey, Dan de Vise (panel)
Spots are limited. Click HERE & RSVP Today!
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Kensington Park’s Annual Speaker Series: Local Author Spotlight
Tuesday, May 21 at 2pm: Paul Dickson, Bob Levey, Dan de Vise (panel)
Spots are limited. Click HERE & RSVP Today!
Open Mobile Menu
helping seniors adjust to assisted living

Embracing Change: Helping a Senior Loved One Adjust to Assisted Living

Moving your loved one into an assisted living community is a significant transition, one marked by emotional and logistical challenges.

However, at Kensington Park, we understand the complexities involved and are committed to supporting families every step of the way. We have helped many families move their senior loved ones into our supportive and loving assisted living community.

We offer practical advice gathered from our extensive experience with residents and their families, aiming to ease the adjustment period and help your loved one embrace their new home in a community that will treat them like family.

Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

Settling into assisted living: the adjustment period

Moving out of a family home and into assisted living can be a significant adjustment, similar to a college student moving into a dorm.

It typically takes a few weeks to three months for seniors to settle in, during which they may experience a range of emotions from sadness to frustration.

These feelings are a natural response to major life changes and concerns about losing independence.

Over time, residents will find their rhythm in the community, forming new relationships and routines that enhance their lives.

Practical strategies for a smoother transition

Every individual will adjust differently to the transition into assisted living.

Create a supportive atmosphere to help your loved one embrace their new chapter with confidence.

  • Give it time: Adjusting to assisted living does not happen overnight, even in the best senior living communities. It is common for seniors to need several weeks to a few months or more to truly settle in. Help remind your loved one of the reasons for the move—enhance safety and health care—and help them maintain focus on tougher days if/when they happen.
  • Visit frequently: By visiting your loved one frequently, you will help them feel supported and alleviate feelings of abandonment. However, try to balance your visiting dates out by giving them personal space to encourage independence and social interaction with new friends and community activities.
  • It takes a village: Work with your other family members and friends to form a support system that will frequently visit your loved one and brighten their day.

Dealing with setbacks and emotional challenges

Accepting a new living situation can be a profound emotional rollercoaster for seniors.

However, by recognizing and preparing for the emotional challenges and setbacks ahead of time, you will be better equipped to provide compassionate support.

  • Expect some setbacks: As your loved one adjusts, there will be the occasional tough day filled with discontent or perhaps regression, which are perfectly normal. These moments may be hard, but they are simply a part of the process for many seniors adjusting to a new home.
  • Allow some discomfort: If a senior expresses a desire to “go back home,” it is often a longing for familiarity rather than a specific location. Sit with them, listen to their concerns, and talk through what they are missing. This acknowledgment is a powerful comfort in itself.

Making the new environment feel like home

A new living space can feel unfamiliar at first. However, personalizing your loved one’s new space can transform it into a warm, welcoming home where new memories will flourish.

  • Personalize their living space: Small touches make a big difference. Bring along framed photos, favorite books, art or lights. These familiar objects can ease the transition by making them feel connected to their previous home.
  • Limit new items: Do not overwhelm your loved one with too many new objects, such as new gadgets or furniture. Remember, familiarity creates comfort, so keep the environment as recognizable as possible.

Building new relationships

One of the greatest aspects of moving into an assisted living community is creating new friendships with peers on their age level.

  • Encourage social interactions: Gently nudge your loved one to attend community events and activities. These gatherings will help them meet peers and find friends with similar interests, easing feelings of social isolation.
  • Engage with the team members: The assisted living team is there for your loved one and your family, so start a relationship with them to help provide your loved one with more personalized care and support.

Setting and respecting boundaries as a caregiver

As the caregiver, maintaining your own mental health is essential as you support a loved one moving into assisted living.

Setting healthy boundaries for yourself helps balance your well-being with your caregiving responsibilities.

Find time for your own needs and recognize when to step back. The beauty of assisted living is you can relax knowing your loved one is being taken care of by a team of compassionate professionals.

Advocacy and ongoing support

Even though your loved one lives in a senior community now, you can still act as their advocate to speak up about any concerns they may be having.

Speak up about any concerns or needs your loved one might have. If they are having issues they have not brought up with the community’s team, please feel free to communicate this to any team member.

Essential moving and logistics tips for assisted living

These practical steps can streamline the actual process of moving out of a family home and into a new assisted living community, making the move less overwhelming for everyone involved:

  • Plan ahead of time to reduce last-minute moving stress.
  • Create a timeline that includes sorting belongings, packing, and setting up the new space.
  • Downsize thoughtfully and sort through possessions to decide what to keep, donate, or discard.
  • Hire professional movers and label everything to make unpacking and organizing easier.
  • Before moving day, visit the new residence if possible to set up as much as possible ahead of time to make the room more inviting.
  • Update friends, family, and service providers with your loved one’s new address, including health care providers, banks, and subscription services.

Find support and resources at Kensington Park, the premiere assisted living community

Kensington Park Senior Living, located in South Kensington, Maryland, offers a supportive environment for assisted living, independent living, and memory care.

Our community will accommodate the evolving needs of all residents, allowing them to age in place with dignity.

Assisted living amenities include a social events calendar, all-day dining, on-site medical team members, and easy transportation access.

Schedule a tour today to see our compassionate approach in action at Kensington Park.

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