4 Common Reasons an Assisted Living Move Doesn’t Happen Smoothly

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Moving can be stressful no matter your age. From deciding what to take and what to leave to packing and physically moving, this change is significant every time it happens in life. For seniors, however, moving to assisted living can be particularly difficult. Here’s a look at four problems to avoid when moving to assisted living and how you can help make the experience easier for everyone involved.

1. “Helping” Your Parent Clean Out Their Home

If the idea of organizing, sorting, and downsizing everything your parents have collected over the years sounds overwhelming, you’re not alone. For many seniors and their families, the most challenging part about moving to assisted living is clearing out the family home.

Two common problems to avoid when moving to assisted living that can arise during this process are:

  1. Not including your parents enough
  2. Including your parents too much

It’s important to try to include your parent in the decision-making process as much as possible without overwhelming them, which can be a delicate balance. Take over the process and go overboard purging items and you may hurt your parent’s feelings and harm your relationship. Ask them about every single knick-knack and you may never even get to packing.

So how do you get it right? The key is to start early — six months to a year before moving to assisted living if you can — and let your loved one be your guide. You’re not just going through their stuff. You’re going through the memories attached. Ask about their wishes and their fears. Are they worried about family conflicts? Do they want to be involved in dividing the contents of the house? Do they have certain bequests? What would they most like to see happen?

Be respectful of your parent’s possessions even if you don’t understand why they value the things they do, and prioritize compassion over your need to get things over with. If stress leads to bickering, hurt feelings, or anxiety, consider hiring a senior move manager take the reins of the entire downsizing and moving process.

 

2. Forgetting to Pack an Open-First Box

Another one of the most common reasons an assisted living move doesn’t happen smoothly is that packed boxes aren’t clearly labeled, making important things hard to find. As you’re helping your parent get packed, take the time to categorize items, keep like with like, and label all boxes with their contents and destination room or area in their new apartment.

Pack the things your loved one will want to have available on move-in day in boxes labeled “open first.” These items might include fresh bedding, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste and a toothbrush, a comb, nightclothes, a towel, plates and utensils, and a change of clothes. Pack other important items that you’ll keep with you during the move, such as the new lease or residence contract, keys, medications, legal documents, and a checkbook.

Along the way, create a detailed inventory to ensure that you know where to find what you’re looking for without having to dig through each box. Consider using a color-coded label system such as the Well-Planned Move: Moving Labels. The kit includes everything you need including a room color chart; room signs; color-coded moving labels with space for content descriptions, notes, and box numbers; attention labels for fragile and heavy boxes; open-first labels for essentials; and important document labels.

Using an organizing system is the most effective way to streamline the packing and unpacking process and alleviate the stress and hassle of moving.

 

3. Not Keeping Everyone on the Same Page

If you have siblings, caring for your parents should be a team effort. As the primary caregiver, you might be the team captain, whereas your brother takes on the role of pitcher and assists with tasks such as finances and transportation and your out-of-town sister takes on the role of spectator, offering emotional support over the phone.

Another one of the common problems to avoid when moving to assisted living is a lack of communication among the team. Just because a family member is not always directly involved in your parent’s care doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned about their well-being. If someone feels out of the loop or doesn’t know the timeline for the move, it can lead to conflict and feelings of anger and resentment.

If distance or time plays a part in your sibling’s ability to be involved in your parents’ move to assisted living, keep an open line of communication. Put key information in writing to make sure everyone has access to the facts.

 

4. Being Too Clingy After Your Parent Moves In

After you help your parent move in and get their assisted living apartment feeling like home, allow them to be independent. Although it’s important to visit and/or call regularly, avoid becoming too protective or feeling as though you need to be with them all the time during the transition.

Allow your parent the opportunity to go to the dining room alone and meet new people. Allow the care team the chance to find out what interests your parent has and slowly get them involved in activities or outings. Before you know it, your parent will want you to let them know in advance you are coming to visit because they just might have exciting plans on their calendar for that day.

Another way to get acclimated with a new community is to become a resident volunteer. Many assisted living communities have resident volunteers who take on roles at the community such as leading a craft group, managing the library, or sponsoring a club. When residents feel as though they have a purpose, it can improve their outlook and help immensely with the transition.

Making the move to an assisted living community is a big undertaking. For more tips on downsizing and selling a home, navigating move-in day, and helping your loved one adjust, download our Guide to Making the Move to Assisted Living.

 

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Moving to assisted living is a life-changing event.

    This guide provides tips and ideas on downsizing, what to pack and how to make the transition smooth for your senior parent.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    This checklist will help to make sure you are getting the most out of your visit to The Arbors.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Have you decided that assisted living is the best option for your elderly parent, and now are feeling overwhelmed on how to begin your search for the right community?

    This guide will go over what you need to know before you make a decision.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Are you considering assisted living for yourself or a loved one but are hesitant about the cost? Assisted living costs, services and amenities vary greatly among the last and most expensive communities, and costs are higher in some states than others.

    This guide will answer questions you may have about the costs of assisted living and recommend resources to help you pay for it.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Talking to your aging parent about moving to an assisted living community isn’t easy.

    Often, many adult children avoid bringing it up because it can be a sensitive topic.

    This guide will provide you with helpful tips and insight on how to have a productive conversation with your parent and siblings regarding your parent’s future.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Difficult behaviors in elderly adults are very common. They may be an expression of frustration your loved one feels or a symptom of early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

    This guide will provide you with skills and knowledge on how to handle difficult behaviors your aging parent may be experiencing.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Becoming a family caregiver can be a rewarding experience. It also has its challenges.

    There are many questions to answer before making the decision to take care of a loved one.

    This guide will provide answers to questions you may have on this topic.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Is your parent or loved one depressed, or just in a bad mood?

    What does medication and illness have to do with depression?

    How can you help? In this guide, you will be provided with answers to the difficult questions you may have about depression.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Has your aging parent recently lost interest in activities they used to enjoy? Have you noticed a change in their mood and behavior?

    This guide will provide you with resources and tools on how to identify depression, what are the common causes of depression, and how to promote mental health in your aging loved one.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Does your loved one need more support than what they are getting? Would they benefit from some assistance with daily activities?

    In this guide, you’ll find answers to the most common questions asked about assisted living.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Where do you start searching for assisted living or memory care communities?

    What qualities in a community should you look for? How do you know you made the right decision?


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Has your dad stopped getting together for lunches or outings with friends or visits with neighbors? Have you stopped enjoying time with your parents because you’re a caregiver?

    Choosing an assisted living community is a big decision. Learn how to find the right one for you and your loved one.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    No one ever plans to be sick or disabled, and disasters, man-made or natural, can happen at any time, anywhere.

    Yet older adults are among the most vulnerable during a crisis. That’s why it’s critical that seniors, and those who care for them, prepare for emergencies.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Moving to assisted living is a life-changing event.

    This guide provides tips and ideas on downsizing, what to pack and how to make the transition smooth for your senior parent.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    In this eBook, you’ll learn how to talk with family and friends about caregiving challenges, how to deal with a parent who is resistant to help, how to get more caregiving help from your siblings, and how to keep your job while caregiving.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Have you had to cut back your hours at work to care for your mom? Are you worried about administering medications or injections?

    Have you stopped getting together with friends, either because you don’t have the time or you’re too exhausted? Are you becoming the invisible second patient?


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    In this guide, you’ll learn about the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, including the early symptoms of dementia; the seven stages of dementia and the symptoms that typically accompany each one; and the signs it’s time to start exploring your memory care options.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    In this guide, you’ll learn about the difference between assisted living and memory care, how health care professionals are trained in dementia care, common features of a memory care community, and questions you should ask when exploring your memory care options.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Navigating adult sibling relationships can be a challenge, but coming together for the sake of your parent is important.

    In this guide, you’ll learn about common sibling conflicts that arise when caring for parents, strategies for getting siblings on board, and where to turn to for help.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Assisted living can be a touchy subject. No matter how you approach it, your parent is likely to have objections to something.

    As you help them transition to a new stage of life, it helps to be prepared with answers to their questions and concerns.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    A Guide to the Most Common Family Caregiver Challenges Associated with Caring for an Aging Parent.

    You’ll learn about the true costs of being a family caregiver, common family conflicts that can occur when caring for parents, and some of the unexpected challenges of caregiving.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    This checklist will help to make sure you are getting the most out of your visit to The Arbors.

    The list details what important questions to ask during your visit so you are able to make an enlightened choice and find the best assisted living community for your needs.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    If you’re unsure what Assisted Living looks like in real life, whether there is a difference with nursing homes or a desire to see how community life unfolds, then this guide is exactly what you need.

    A guide to discover the Care Team and a Typical Day in Assisted Living.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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