11 Tips to Ease Your Parents Move to a Medicine Hat Retirement Home
Moving a parent, even a willing one, into Medicine Hat Seniors Housing can be fraught with emotion. Your parent may mourn the loss of their younger years and their independence. They could be scared about aging, making new friends, finding their way in a new place. And, inevitably, you will feel guilt. These feelings are normal and don’t need to last forever. So keep the following strategies in mind as you make the transition.
If you have retired parents perhaps the time has come for “the conversation” you know, the one to consider alternative living arrangements. Moving a parent, even a willing one, to a Medicine Hat Retirement Home is fraught with emotion.
Your parent may mourn the loss of their younger years and their independence. They could be scared about aging, making new friends, finding their way in a new place. And you will feel guilt. Guilt is inevitable. Know that all of these feelings are normal and don’t need to last forever. So keep the following strategies in mind as you make the transition
Plan A Visit
To help your loved one adjust to the idea of a Medicine Hat retirement residence, plan a trip to Chinook Village and let them get a feel for the place. Tour the community and the grounds and find out what services, activities and amenities are provided in different lifestyles to help enrich the lives of its residents.
Give your loved one time to adjust to the idea that they will be living in a retirement community before you take them. Listen to their doubts and fears and try to talk through various issues with them to clear up misconceptions about retirement homes. There are tremendous benefits to touring a senior home, so schedule a visit today.
After the Move - Give it Time.
Senior living experts say it typically takes between three and six months for someone to adjust to retirement home living. That’s an average. It might be quicker; it may take longer. Stay focused on the reasons you made the decision (safety, health, security, sanity). Keeping the big picture in mind will help you through the rough patches.
How Often to Visit?
Only you know your parent, so only you can decide how best to assist them through the early weeks of the move. Many experts agree that you should visit as often as possible. Frequent visits can ease any stress your parent may have that they will be abandoned or lonely.
It might be easier for them to meet people at activities or in the dining room if they have a companion with them. But if your parent is calling you several times a day, staying in their room, and waiting for you to show up and keep them company, you may need to give them some space in order to encourage them to branch out.
Get Help From Relatives.
Enlist the help of siblings and other close family members to visit your parents often. They need all the support and encouragement you have to offer to help them not feel lonely as they adjust to a new lifestyle. Having familiar faces around will help relieve some of their anxiety.
Just when you think you are over the hump and your parent is settling in, things will change. They will tell you they are lonely. They will decide they don’t like their new dining room friends. They will ask to go home. These moments are heart wrenching but knowing that they are normal and that they will pass, can help get you through them.
Acknowledge the Difficult Parts.
Yes you want to paint the new move in a positive light, but don’t just talk to your parents about all the wonderful new activities and people and opportunities. Listen to their fears and concerns and acknowledge them. Then help them get through it. They will be more likely to listen if they feel like you’ve listened to what they had to say.
Moving to a retirement home usually means downsizing. This is especially true if your parents are moving from a house of their own and into a seniors’ home in Medicine Hat. Much of your parents furniture etc. may not fit into their new suite. What does fit are photographs of family and friends, photo albums, favorite books, a familiar piece of artwork and those special treasures.
You can still bring a familiar blanket and pillows. The kitchen may be new, but you can pack your mother’s favorite teacup. Leaving a home shouldn’t mean leaving behind the comforts of that home.
Caring as a Team.
The staff at the retirement home can, and should be a part of your team. Talk to them about your concerns and your parent’s concerns, and actively enroll them in helping with the transition.
Be An Advocate For Your Parents.
Since your parents will still be adjusting to living in a new place, keep an open mind to any changes they would like to see. If they aren't happy with a particular routine, feel free to speak with the staff. If there is a way to accommodate your parents, staff are flexible and happy to appeal to a variety of needs.
You Know Best.
The “experts” may tell you to stay away or visit often. They may tell you to dismiss complaints as normal. Trust your instincts, you know your parent best. You know when they’re a little “off” or when they’re hiding something, or when they are genuinely expressing a concern. Keep your ears and eyes open and, where appropriate, share information or concerns with retirement residence staff.
Look After Your Own Life.
You want to be a good son or daughter and ease your parent’s transition. But you have a life too. Try to free up as much time as you can in the first few months after the move to help, but know that it is okay if you are not always available.
Your own kids may need you. Your workplace or your clients may need you. And you need to take care of yourself. Figure out and plan what you are able and willing to do and then stick to it. If other people tell you what you should be doing, just ignore them. You are the judge – no one else.
About Chinook Village Medicine Hat
Chinook Village is a 23-acre Medicine Hat not-for-profit retirement home providing seniors housing with a variety of seniors accommodations, services and healthcare options.
Lifestyles include independent living, supportive living, assisted living, life lease seniors apartments, trial stays, respite care and aging in place.
Contact Melanie our Lifestyle Consultant for a free tour or more information.
Article inspired by, and edited from, an original post on workingdaughter.com