Helping Your Loved One Move Into an Assisted Living Facility

If you and your family don’t have the time or resources to care for an elderly loved one full time, you may eventually need to consider an assisted living facility. Transitioning your loved one into an assisted living facility can be challenging, but preparing ahead of time can make the process less stressful.

Moving into an assisted living home will give your loved one the care and attention they need around the clock, so they will stay as safe and healthy as possible. Here are some tips for helping your loved one move into an assisted living facility. 

Recognizing Signs Your Loved One Needs Assisted Living Services

Even if you and your family use an in-home caregiver to provide added care and support for your loved one, they may eventually need more. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs that your loved one isn’t safe or comfortable in their own home any longer. Consider assisted living placement if your loved one:

  • Has had one or more falls or accidents in the home
  • Has started to wander or leave the home alone
  • Can no longer drive
  • Has mobility problems that affect their safety or comfort
  • Can no longer get in and out of bed or to and from the bathroom alone
  • Isn’t able to bathe, dress, or groom themselves anymore
  • Has been diagnosed with a major disease, illness, or disability that requires around the clock care
  • Can’t keep up with necessary home maintenance
  • Can’t take care of their pets anymore
  • Can’t navigate obstacles in their home like stairs
  • Is not able to make their own food or feed themselves
  • Doesn’t remember to take their medication
  • Is exhibiting worsening cognitive capabilities or memory problems or showing signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s

Taking Advantage of Assisted Living Placement Services 

Assisted living placement services are free services that guide you through the process of choosing an assisted living facility. A counselor or expert will get to know your loved one’s needs and your family’s goals and budget. They can then recommend reputable local assisted living homes that are ideal for your location, budget, and needs. These services can make the process of moving into an assisted living home less stressful and make it easier to talk to your loved one and family members about the process.   

Paying for an Assisted Living Facility

There are government programs and other resources that can help you manage the cost of an assisted living facility. Start by talking to your loved one about their finances and gathering information about their savings, assets, and any pension, investment, or retirement accounts they have. You can then evaluate government resources for assisted living care, including Medicaid. Care Bridge Foundation offers transitional financial assistance to families who are waiting for their Medicaid application to be approved. 

Assisted Living Alzheimer’s Care and Memory Care

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they will need to move into an assisted living facility that offers memory care or Alzheimer’s care services. These services are carefully designed to slow the progression of dementia and strengthen memory and cognitive skills. The caregivers are highly trained and educated in working with patients who have dementia, and they can provide a higher level of physical, mental, and healthcare services. 

Talking to Your Loved One About Their Move

If possible, you should try to involve your loved one in the decision to move them into an assisted living facility. Your loved one should retain some level of control over the process and have some say in the decisions that are being made. Find a time when your loved one is comfortable and secure to discuss the move.

Explain the reasons you feel your loved one is no longer safe or secure in their home, and the benefits of moving into an assisted living facility. You can involve other family members in the discussion, or include your loved one’s spiritual advisor, physician, or a social worker or counselor. Try to choose a neutral time and place for the discussion, and give your loved one time and space to discuss their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Prepare to have more than one discussion about the move. 

Downsizing Belongings

When you have chosen an assisted living facility and have the measurements for your loved one’s new room or apartment, you may need to consider downsizing your loved one’s belongings. You can start by asking your loved one to make a list of furniture, keepsakes, decor, and other belongings they absolutely must bring with them.

Then start going through other items and making a list of things that can be sold, donated, or given to other family members. Do not start moving or getting rid of anything without discussing it with your loved one first. Many charitable organizations will pick up large pieces of furniture or other donations for you. 

Organizing and Packing

Once you and your loved one have decided what they are bringing with them to the assisted living facility, you can begin organizing and packing. Make sure all boxes are carefully labeled, and make an inventory of items. This will help you keep track of everything and make sure nothing gets lost or overlooked. It will also help you with insurance claims if something does go missing or get damaged. You should start packing at least a month before your loved one moves.  

Finding a Moving Company

The assisted living facility may be able to recommend a reputable local moving company that specializes in senior moving services. You can also ask friends and family for suggestions or do your own research. Many moving companies offer services that are specifically tailored to seniors who are downsizing or moving into assisted living or retirement homes. Make sure the moving company is experienced, fully licensed and insured, and comes highly recommended or well-reviewed.  

Helping Your Loved One Adjust to Assisted Living

Your loved one may have trouble getting used to an assisted living home. You and your family can help by providing support, companionship, and guidance that will make the transition easier. Here are some tips for helping your loved one adjust to an assisted living facility:

  • Make sure their personal belongings are set up exactly the way they want them.
  • Surround them with familiar objects and decor.
  • Let them know how often you will visit.
  • Tell them you will still spend holidays and special occasions together.
  • Look over the events calendar for the facility and plan which events they will attend. 
  • Make it easy for them to contact you via phone or email.
  • Coordinate visits with other friends and family members.
  • Help them write letters to friends or arrange in-person or virtual visits.

Request Assisted Living Placement Services Today

At Placita In Home Care, we offer complimentary assisted living placement services in Southern Arizona. We will work closely with you to help you find the best assisted living facility for your loved one based on your needs, geographical location, and budget.

We have extensive experience helping families navigate this transition process, and we can also help you apply for funding, including through the Care Bridge program. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation to discuss assisted living placement for your loved one.