When you think of assisted living, you may think of all the things you are giving up. If you are a senior who is preparing to transition into an assisted living community, however, those types of thoughts are not helpful in adjusting to this major change. What is helpful, though, is taking the right steps to help yourself not only settle into your new home, but start to thrive in your new life. The Plant Memorial Home shares some simple things you can do to ease the move into an assisted living community.
Make Sure You’re Living in the Right Community
Many assisted living facilities offer leisure activities, special events, and fitness programs, all of which can be wonderful ways to maintain your well-being and maybe even make some new friends. So when you think about life in assisted living, think about all of these perks in addition to the daily help with routine activities like cooking, cleaning, and dressing.
Keep in mind that if you need day-and-night supervision and expert medical care, then instead of assisted living, a skilled nursing facility will be your best option. You can research Maine nursing homes to find a facility that best fits your preferences for amenities and cost.
Speaking of cost, a huge worry for many seniors is how to pay for assisted living. That concern can be addressed any number of ways, as there are several options available, from using your own savings or proceeds from a home sale to drawing from long-term care insurance and government benefits like Medicaid.
Allow Yourself Some Time to Adjust to New Settings
Being homesick is more than just a simple feeling. When you are homesick, The Huffington Post notes that your mind and body can be deeply affected, so it makes sense that many seniors who transition into assisted living experience mental and physical health symptoms. You may feel depressed over leaving your old home or anxious about starting your new life. These feelings are completely normal, and it can take time for them to wane. Still, you don’t want feelings of anxiety or depression to evolve into more severe mental health concerns.
So as you move into your new assisted living community, use a few moving tricks to help your brain and body settle in faster. Keep some necessities in an overnight bag to stay comfortable during those first few nights, and start making your new house, apartment, or room into a cozy home with decor and other personal touches.
Make Sure You Have Gotten Rid of Excess Clutter
United Healthcare explains that another mental health complication of moving to assisted living is letting go of clutter. To outsiders, your house full of furniture and possessions may be just “stuff,” but to you it is a house full of memories. Those memories can be especially painful when you are adjusting to the aging process and a major transition as well, but clearing out your clutter can provide some needed benefits for your overall health.
With less clutter in your new home, you will feel less stressed and more free to truly experience this new chapter of your life. So before you begin packing and moving your things to assisted living, use a downsizing guide to make the decluttering process a little easier, and allow yourself time to process any resulting emotions.
Loneliness is a concern for many adults but can be especially acute for seniors. Feelings of isolation can lead to mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. That’s why it’s important to preserve your social connections as a senior by making positive conversation with your new neighbors and making an effort to really get to know them.
If you are feeling up to it, you could even host a housewarming party to connect with other seniors in your new community and make new friends. You can even do so on a budget, with some light snacks, low-cost refreshments, and minimal decorations. Opening yourself up this way can open your life to some new friendships and the chance to thrive in assisted living.
Admitting that you need assisted living takes courage. So be proud of yourself for knowing when to ask for help, and take the steps needed to craft a fulfilling life in your assisted living community. Because not only do you need it, you truly deserve it!
The Plant Memorial Home is a non-profit assisted living facility that offers both one bedroom and efficiency apartments. All offer a fully functional kitchen, a private bath as well as fully carpeted bedrooms. We know the benefits of a healthy, active, adventurous lifestyle. Reach out to us today to find out more! (207) 443-8986 or (207) 443-224