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Setting Realistic Expectations for the Transition to Assisted Living

Setting Realistic Expectations for the Transition to Assisted Living

<!–[CDATA[Preparing for a move to an assisted living community can feel overwhelming. From touring a variety of communities to creating a budget, the process takes time and patience. You might think that once you’ve settled on a community, the tough stuff is behind you. While making the decision on where to move to can be a challenge, preparing for the transition is when the real work begins. 


Here are a few tips to help you transition from home to an assisted living community.

4 Tips for Making a Successful Transition to Assisted Living 

Tip #1: Get involved ahead of time

One fear many older adults have as they prepare for this move is that their family and social connections will abandon them. Long-time friends might move out-of-town to be near their adult children. Family members will get busy and visit less and less. 

While some of these types of fears might come true, a senior living community offers many opportunities for making new friends and building new connections. It can help make the transition a little easier if you get involved with social activities before you actually move in.

Talk with the staff at the senior community you are moving to and see what activities and events are scheduled. Make plans to attend a few each week. Also ask to be introduced to residents who share your interests and hobbies, as well as those who will be your new neighbors.

Tip #2: Create an environment that looks and feels familiar

Some seniors and their families are tempted to sell everything and buy all new furniture, bedding, and home accessories to celebrate this new chapter in life. But when everything is new and unfamiliar, it can add to the amount of time it takes to feel like you are home. 

On moving day, unpack and remove boxes from the apartment or suite. Place old, familiar belongings around you. Re-creating your current surroundings in your new home can help ease the transition. Waiting to redecorate until you are moved in and settled might be a better approach.

Tip #3: Plan for good days and bad days

Even with careful and thoughtful planning, there will be ups and downs after the move. This is a big transition and it’s natural for some days to be better than others. Give yourself permission to grieve things left behind, while still making it a priority to embrace this change and the new opportunities it presents. 

Tip #4: Be patient with your new neighbors and staff

Getting to know the staff and residents at the community is a process for everyone involved. Things may not go as planned as you learn more about one another and the staff learns how to support your needs. Be patient and kind and try not to be too hard on yourself or others.

A Unique Approach to Life at Five Star Senior Living

At Five Star communities across the country, we take a unique approach to helping residents make the most of each day. One way we do that is through our Lifestyle360 program. 

Lifestyle360 is our holistic approach to wellness and active living. This program enriches residents’ lives by focusing on each of the five dimensions of wellness. From chair yoga to computer classes and bird watching, we work hard to ensure that each resident lives their best quality of life. 

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