Making the transition to assisted living can be difficult for both you and your loved one. Many older adults don’t want to leave their homes, and getting comfortable in a new environment can stir up some anxiety and stress for everyone involved.
At The Arbors/Ivy, our communities already feel like home. As the third generation, we grew up in our buildings. We listened to our families talk endlessly at the dinner table or in the car about “our communities”. We started working in them at an early age and learned every job there is, spending time working alongside the staff within each department. We learned very young how important these communities were to the families we served, the families that became part of our family. But we also learned that our residents wanted our communities to truly feel home-like and cozy, warm, and inviting. This feeling comes from so much more than just the physical surroundings, but rather the relationships they create with our staff and the camaraderie they have with new friends.
Here are a few tips for turning our community into your new home:
1. Choosing a Community with a Family Values-Driven Culture
We take pride in living locally, being a part of the same communities we serve. We don’t just operate our communities. We design and develop them from the ground up to best serve our residents. We decorate and style our communities ourselves. Family is all we have ever known. Our staff and residents all become a part of our extended family. We have programming in place to welcome our new residents into the family with open arms, to maintain open communication with all our families, and to ensure everyone feels supported and connected to their community from the very first day. We are hopeful to achieve stronger bonds and supportive relationships with each and every family we serve.
The other foundations of our culture include a customer service-based culture where we focus on employee engagement and customer satisfaction, teamwork, respect, integrity, honesty, transparency, and trust. The longevity of employment tenure of many staff across all of our locations is a testament to the culture we work so hard to achieve.
When looking at different communities, make observations. How friendly are the staff and the other residents to each other? Are residents and staff interacting with one another? Are the residents active? If you have a concern, can you speak to the owners? You'll more than likely get a feeling in our communities that we care deeply for our residents, families, and staff and hopefully can envision your loved one becoming a part of our family.
2. Enjoy Your Own Private Home-Like Apartment
Once you and your loved one have selected the perfect assisted living community, you'll have to start thinking of what will go to the new place. Before making the move, measure your new apartment and lay out what you would like to bring with you. Take some pictures of how the rooms looked, and then downsize items that won’t be needed given the new lifestyle. Then, once you start moving things into the new apartment, you can arrange items to reflect the style of your loved one's home. Keeping the setup as similar to their home as possible is very beneficial for the transition.
Our Communities are made up of studios, one-bedrooms, and two bedrooms, there is a size that works for everyone. Each apartment has a full-sized kitchenette with a stovetop, refrigerator, garbage disposal, and microwave. The apartments all have handicap accessible bathrooms with step-in showers and safety bars. Each apartment controls their own heat and air conditioning so the temperature is always to their liking. We also have emergency pull cords (some have pendants as well) to ensure safety and communication is available. Our apartments are spacious, warm, and inviting.
3. Make New Friends
At The Arbors/Ivy, we know first hand (our grandparents and loved ones live with us too!), how stressful the transition to a new community can be. Fitting in and making new friends can be filled with anxiety. That’s why we have created a specific resident onboarding program to not only assist in introducing your loved one to the staff and residents but to each department and what they can expect as part of their daily life.
At The Arbors, we have many programs supporting our residents and communities. We believe in creating an engaging, stimulating environment that benefits the mind, body, and soul of our residents. We promote a lifestyle of health and wellness, with programs that benefit brain health, physical fitness, and more. Leaving social isolation behind can be so invigorating for new residents.
Socialization at The Arbors gives our residents an opportunity for new friendships, a healthy active lifestyle, camaraderie, making memories, and a chance to enjoy a variety of interests and events to stay active and stimulated.
With our country club-style activities our residents can get their hands dirty, with our resident gardening areas, play some corn hole or ladder ball in our spacious courtyards. Enjoy happy hour, a wine and cheese social, or a ball game in our pub with a cold beverage in hand and friends close by to laugh with. We have clubs, lectures, educational talks, fitness classes, arts and craft classes, and much more. Each day is different with many opportunities to make new friends and stay engaged.
4. Family Visits
We all know the adjustment of a transition to assisted living can take time, so having patience and understanding can go a long way. Understanding the stress and anxiety your loved one has while finding their footing can be beneficial in helping them feel more comfortable. Reminding them that their feelings are completely normal. We have found that checking in periodically or visiting with your loved ones helps them to know that you are still very much a part of their lives even though you can’t be there every day.
Making the Transition to Assisted Living
At the end of the day, our communities feel like home because it is our home. And it will feel like your loved one’s home too. Assisted living gives our residents a fresh perspective on how to spend their golden years. Making new friends, socializing with neighbors, and getting acquainted with everyone at the Community makes a significant impact on our residents' overall health and well-being.
Our communities bustle with activity each and every day. Swing by the beauty/barber salon for a fresh new look, curl up with a good book by the fire in the library or meet a friend for a drink at the pub. Relax in our quiet sunrooms, enjoy casual outdoor dining throughout the summer, even get your hands dirty--enjoy our resident gardening areas, theater movie nights, who wants popcorn?! We have exactly what it takes to make this your new home and make your transition to assisted living easy.