10 Tips for a Smooth, Stress-Free Tran­si­tion to a Re­tire­ment Home

Montreal Times - - Front Page - By Matt Del Vec­chio

Of the al­most 5 mil­lion se­niors age 65 and older in Canada, 7.1% live in care fa­cil­i­ties. Of this amount, 4.5% live in nurs­ing homes, chronic care, or long-term care hos­pi­tals and 2.6% live in res­i­dences for se­niors. Wher­ever you’re loved one de­cides to go, mov­ing into a re­tire­ment home or se­nior com­mu­nity can be stress­ful.

Be­low are 10 tips to help with the tran­si­tion. 1. In­volve your loved one in the se­lec­tion process if pos­si­ble. Lis­ten to their con­cerns and fears and then ad­dress them. Let them know they are NOT los­ing con­trol.

2. Try to make sure ev­ery­one in the fam­ily is do­ing what is best for the loved one.

3. Choose a se­nior com­mu­nity that is a good match based on the se­nior’s needs and lo­ca­tion. Try to pick a place that nur­tures what is im­por­tant to them; be it hobby, ser­vices or so­cial. 4. Make ran­dom vis­its to the re­tire­ment home at var­i­ous times of the day be­fore the move to meet res­i­dents and staff as well as try the food and some of the ac­tiv­i­ties of­fered.

5. Walk the build­ing to get a feel for where ev­ery­thing is be­fore you move and re­view ac­tiv­ity sched­ules to plan ahead so you have an idea what your daily sched­ule can be like.

6. Al­low as much time as pos­si­ble be­fore the move to pre­pare. If re­quired; hire a Se­nior Move Man­ager or down­siz­ing com­pany to help with the co­or­di­na­tion. 7. Meet with the movein co­or­di­na­tor. They have done this many times and may have ad­di­tional ad­vice or help. They can help de­cide what will come from home and where it can be placed in the new apart­ment. 8. Do not sched­ule the move-in for the week­end; try to move dur­ing the week when the com­mu­nity is fully staffed. 9. In­quire about a “Be Our Guest” pro­gram. Some com­mu­ni­ties pro­vide fur­nished rooms for a few days at no charge to help the fu­ture res­i­dent get ac­cli­mated.

10. Be sure to com­plete the res­i­dent his­tory ques­tion­naires be­fore mov­ing in as it helps the staff in the build­ing be­come even more in­volved with the new res­i­dent if they al­ready know their his­tory, likes and dis­likes.

When there is a move into a re­tire­ment home, the lack of fa­mil­iar­ity with both the en­vi­ron­ment and the other res­i­dents can be quite in­tim­i­dat­ing. Very of­ten, fam­ily mem­bers can feel guilty about plac­ing loved ones into a se­nior res­i­dence.The re­al­ity is that a move will most likely be for the best.

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