The decision to move into an assisted living community is significant and sometimes challenging, especially when the decision involves a significant other. As we enter our senior years, it’s essential to prioritize both individuals in a couple while ensuring a smooth transition into assisted living. Specialized communities provide an excellent option for couples who require assistance with daily living activities but who also understandably want to remain together.In this blog, we’ll discuss ways to ensure a seamless transition into assisted living for couples so they can enjoy their retirement to the fullest while also improving their overall quality of life.
Assess Individual Needs First
While couples may be moving into assisted living together, it’s essential to acknowledge that each individual may have different care needs and to plan accordingly so that both feel they are receiving the care they require. Some residents may need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing and grooming while others may need help with medication management or general mobility. Top assisted living communities typically offer personalized care plans to accommodate these individual needs within the same living space.
Create a Supportive Transition Plan
A detailed transition plan will help couples smoothly navigate the move into assisted living. Many assisted living communities will be able to help with this process of planning and even provide detailed templates as well as aid in identifying overlooked needs. During this planning process, it’s also a great idea to start putting together a checklist of to-do tasks, including downsizing, packing and organizing belongings. This is a great time to involve family members or friends who will provide support during this process.
Commit to Open and Honest Communication
Open and honest communication should be the commitment of all sides involved in the process of moving into an assisted living community. Both partners in the relationship should share their feelings, concerns, preferences and address any fears or apprehensions as well as work diligently together to find common ground. It’s also imperative to express expectations, goals and feelings throughout the transition to assisted living because a big transition will no doubt stir up many emotions.
Thoroughly Research Assisted Living Communities
Ensuring a smooth transition into assisted living for couples means researching and taking time to visit potential communities together. Look for options that offer various amenities and services that align with your needs and preferences. It’s also very important to consider the needs you or your spouse may need in the future, such as memory-specific care. If one of you is currently living with a memory related condition such as dementia, it’s even more important to consider the environment as well as what care options are available within the community. Also pay close attention to factors like location, level of care, amenities, activities and overall atmosphere.
Additionally, this is a great opportunity to build relationships with staff and fellow residents as you explore communities. Getting to know the people who will provide care and be future neighbors can create a supportive environment and cultivate that warm sense of belonging.
Customize Living Spaces Within a Community
Many assisted living communities offer various accommodation options, from private apartments to shared living spaces. Together, couples should choose the arrangement that suits both their preferences and budget as well as furnish the living space with familiar items to make it feel like home. Personalizing a new home can help create a sense of comfort and familiarity during this transition process.
Stay Connected With Each Other
One of the common concerns of couples entering assisted living is being separated. To ensure an easy transition, couples should make an effort to stay connected after their move. Make sure the community you are moving to supports regular interaction if living in separate neighborhoods based on care. Also make a commitment to participate in activities together, share meals and take advantage of social events within the community as well as form lasting friendships. Putting each other first during this adjustment period and keeping the lines of communication open will ensure your lasting bond and connection stay strong.
Monitor and Adjust Care Plans as Needed
Top assisted living communities across the country typically assess residents’ needs regularly. Couples and their family members should stay involved in their care planning process, review and adjust details as necessary and communicate any concerns or changes in their health. This proactive approach ensures they receive the appropriate level of care as well as enjoy a seamless experience.
By following the best practices outlined above, seniors can ensure a smooth transition into assisted living with their significant other and make the commitment together to enjoy life to the fullest while also receiving the complete care they require.
As an additional step, don’t miss our detailed Checklist for Moving into a Senior Living Community, where you can find a wealth of tips on things to consider when exploring assisted living options as well as how to prepare yourself and your loved one for this significant move.