Three Tips To Help Family Members Get Settled In Their New Retirement Home

7 August 2015
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Helping your elderly parents or other family members move into a retirement home or senior care residence can be a bit of an emotional experience. While your folks will certainly warm up to the idea before long, some people can feel a little resistance to this move -- after all, they might have had decades in the same home leading up to the relocation and aren't fond of change. There are a number of ways that you can ease the transition and help your family members quickly feel established in their new home. Here are three ways to get started.

Include Items From Home

There's little question that your family members will have to downsize their possessions when they move into their new home, but decorating the new space with reminders of home can play a beneficial role in making the transition smoother. In the weeks leading up to the move, talk to your family members about their most cherished items and make sure there's space for these things in the new home. Whether it's a series of framed photos, a shelf of favourite scrapbooks or a special piece of furniture, ensuring these items make the move with your family member is vitally important.

Encourage Getting Involved

If your family member is feeling a little down about the change, it can be easy for them to spend time in their room. This approach won't help the transition, though, so do your best to encourage them to get involved with the community around them. Retirement homes and senior care residences have a wide range of programs and events to make residents feel at home -- after all, most people are in the same boat as your family members. Whether it's joining an art or baking club or taking a day trip to a museum or casino, getting involved in the residence gives them an opportunity to meet others and form some friendships.

For more information on the activities offered at retirement homes, look into a number of different living situations to determine if one will offer better opportunities.

Visit When Possible

Although you shouldn't visit so much that your family members won't want to get out and make friends, some regular visits in the initial weeks after the move can be helpful -- especially if they lived with you or nearby before moving to their new home. Arrange some formal visits with your family or just drop over for a quick cup of tea. If they are adept with technology, arranging a video call on their tablet or computer a couple times per week is ideal, too.