There are many reasons why making a decision to move your parent into an Assisted Living Facility can be frightening for you and your parent. One of the biggest reasons for an adult child to be hesitant for mom or dad to move into an Assisted Living community can be guilt. Another reason can be financial or a fear that mom will lose her independence.

When researching Assisted Living communities, keep in mind that moving your parent into Assisted Living might not be the best solution. As you speak with team members at the community, be aware that some may suggest that Assisted Living is the only option. At Vintage Care of Palatka we believe Assisted Living and Memory Care is a great option, but it may not be the best for everyone.

Some additional thoughts as you are evaluating Assisted Living Communities…

–        Come prepared with background information about your parent. The more the team gets to know about your mom or dad, the better we can help you prepare for the next step. We don’t just want to know about her medical needs – we also want to know what some of her goals are in the future. How can we help her be her best person?

–        Observe your own first impressions of the community – Do you like the atmosphere? Is there a smell? How does the staff interact with other residents and with each other?

–        Share your concerns about the transition – what are some of your fears? How about your dad’s worries?

Throughout the process there will be many challenges; we all fear change. The best way to help mom with this transition is to take a step back and think of how you would handle a life change, when you took a new job, what where your fears? When you moved into that new neighborhood, what were some of your concerns? When making the move you will want to remain positive. Reminding yourself and mom that she will gain independence by moving in, how the fear of being alone will no longer be there.

When Mom is preparing to leave her home full of memories and has to downsize, it can be a bit overwhelming. We advise that mom make a list of her favorite things she would like to bring to her new apartment. Bringing her favorite chair, books, pictures can help her feel more at ease having these familiar things with her. One final thing I  would do is to introduce her to the staff, explain who is who and things that make mom happy, for example Mom likes to have hot tea at 3pm. This way the staff can also do their best to help Mom feel more comfortable with the transition.

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