Moving into a retirement home is not easy, and seniors will need support as this kind of transition is a significant step. While this type of move may be an improvement for an older adult, it can be very challenging; leaving a home you've lived in for years can be very emotional because it can feel like a loss.
Retirement homes are great for older adults struggling to live in their own homes and will provide residents with several advantages like great programs, amenities, social connections, medication monitoring, and meal services. Older adults will get to participate in great activities and be a part of a wonderful community; however, not every senior will jump at this opportunity and many will need time to adjust to this tremendous change. Many families or retirement homes will push a new resident to participate in community activities right away, but it’s important to acknowledge their loss instead of hoping their grief will disappear once they participate in a few programs. Contrary to popular belief, this will not help a person forget their old home, and distractions will not cause them to let go of their past, so acknowledge their feelings and validate their loss.
You have to acknowledge the difficulty of the situation and must give the person time to settle in because moving is hard—allowing them to express their concerns and fears will help build trust. Seniors need to feel safe and comfortable, and when you listen and give them time, they will feel better about the situation and will not feel rushed or forced into a retirement home. The process of moving can be very stressful, so it’s crucial to give seniors a chance to adjust.
When offering support, separate the scenario you’ve created in your head from reality because these may not be the same. Don’t try to push the person down a path you've created, and avoid nagging because this can make matters worse. Instead of assuming what’s best for the person, ask them kindly about their journey and how they’re adjusting to their new situation. It will take time for the person to find friends and meet new people, but over time, they will fit in with a new social group. The less you push, the better they will be because they will be able to adjust to their own pace. You need to be sensitive to this reality and accept that making friends can take time, so it’s important to give seniors the space to adjust comfortably and not forcibly.
If you are a senior interested in a retirement home, Senior Care Access can help! Our database will connect you and your family members to the right people and communities, and you will be able to access vital information to help with this transition. If you are looking for ‘retirement homes or nursing homes near me,' start browsing our site today!