Helping a Senior Manage Their Anxiety before a Summer Move to Assisted Living
Managing Anxiety Before a Move to Assisted Living1. Find a reputable moving company. Let your loved one help as much or as little as they’d like.
Four out of the top five moving stressors relate to finding a reputable moving company, along with packing and unpacking household belongings.
For a senior moving to assisted living, watching the sum total of everything they’ve collected throughout their life sold at a yard sale, packed into storage, or loaded onto a moving truck is undoubtedly stressful. It can be equally stressful for adult children who must watch childhood mementoes disappear.
Find a company you can trust. And if your loved one wants to help during the packing process, let them. On the other hand, it may be easier to take them on a fun outing while someone else handles the heavy lifting (both physically and emotionally).
2. Visit the community often in preparation for the move.
Get your senior loved one acquainted with the staff and residents in their new community. If possible, schedule a respite stay at the community your loved one will moving to. It will give them an opportunity to get to know everyone before the big day.
Speak frequently with the director of the community—and let your loved one do the same. Providing a list of your loved one’s likes and dislikes ahead of time can help the staff in the community get to know your loved one faster, according to Forbes contributor Carolyn Rosenblatt.
3. Talk to your loved one frequently about the move.
Answering your loved one’s questions, even if they become repetitive, may alleviate their fears. This may help reduce their anxiety. Talk up the benefits of their new community in casual conversations you have. It might about be the great arts and crafts programs or the chance to participate in daily wellness programs.
4. Help your loved one choose décor reminiscent of home.
Senior living apartments do not look like hospital rooms. Residents at Five Star Senior Living communities can bring their own furnishing and décor. Prior to the move, help your loved one decide what will go where in the new apartment. Try to emphasize what they’re bringing rather than what they are leaving behind.
5. If your loved one seems to have unmanageable anxiety, speak to a healthcare professional.
Some preliminary studies show that anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications may work for seniors with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). If your loved one’s anxiety is severe, a healthcare professional may be able to recommend a course of action that could include counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and/or medication.