If you have been living in your own home for decades, transitioning into an assisted living home, where there are people around to help you on a daily basis, can be a big transition. Although you will still have your own space, your space will be smaller, and your routine will be a little different. There are steps you can take to make the transition to assisted living easier on yourself.
Way #1: Find the Right Community
Not all assisted living communities are the same. Each assisted living community is going to offer you different amenities. Each facility is going to have a different social environment and offer different food and activities. It is important to reflect on what you want and need.
What type of food do you like to eat? Do you want to eat an old school American diet of meat, potatoes, and vegetables for dinner? Do you like to have access to more international food choices?
What type of activities do you enjoy? Do you want a facility that accesses lots of outdoor activities? Do you enjoy indoor activities more?
Carefully consider the activities and food and environment that you are looking for and look for a community that has those things. Visit the community a few times, talking to both caregivers and staff as well as residents, in order to find the right fit for you.
Way #2: Decide What to Take with You
Next, once you find the right home, you need to decide what you want to take with you. More than likely, you are going to be moving into a smaller home than you lived in previously which means you are going to need to get rid of a few things.
Don't rush the process of deciding what to take with you. Sit down and make a list of items that are especially meaningful to you. Then, make a list of items that you use on a daily basis. These should be the start of what you take with you.
For other items, you can photograph them, or have people over so you can share stories about items as you give them away.
Way #3: Prepare for the Emotional Transition
Finally, give yourself time to prepare emotionally for the transition. Leaving the home you have lived in for a long time can be challenging. You are going to want to prepare emotionally for this transition. Perhaps you will want to host friends and family over at your home one last time, either individually or with a big event. You may want to talk with a counselor or with a friend or spiritual advisor about the change you are going through. Give yourself time to emotionally prepare for a new phase in your life.
If you are getting ready to transition into an assisted living facility, take your time to find a community where you feel comfortable. Bring the things you use the most, and that matters the most, with you. Take your time to prepare emotionally for the transition of leaving your old home, and moving onto a new phase in life.
If you have additional questions, reach out to a local assisted living facility.