Transitioning To An Assisted Living Apartment: Tips About Setting Up A New Home
If someone gave me the option to downsize and move into a lovely Assisted Living Residence with three delicious meals prepared for me and afternoon tea, bingo and field trips...I would sign up in a flash. In fact my kids know that my wish would be to find such a place near the ocean. In 25 years from now, that would be a dream come true for me. But for many elderly people who are at that juncture right now, moving to an Assisted Living development is not an easy sell.
When An Assisted Living Arrangement Makes Sense
Most older adults want to stay right where they are, in their family home with all the comforts that they are accustomed to. The idea of packing up a three or four bedroom home and downsizing to a small one or two bedroom apartment in an Assisted Living residence is an idea which is usually rejected at first by most older adults.
For some healthier seniors, a good solution might really be to remain in their own home with private home health aides or to move in with adult children. But these arrangements may not work for all. Let's be honest, for many ailing older adults or elderly folks with dementia, a smaller and safer environment along with 24-7 supervision and nursing care options is really a much better plan. This is when Assisted Living arrangements make the most sense.
Try Out The Assisted Living Arrangement First
If you are an adult child helping to care for your adult parent, you may find yourself in the position of transitioning your loved one to smaller quarters such as an apartment in an Assisted Living complex. Most highly respected places allow you to try out their facility with a short term stay such as 1-3 months or longer. Most places generally have furnished apartments to try out before you actually commit to a move. This is a good idea for both your parents and for you. You will get a chance to test out the arrangement.
Moving Into An Assisted Living Apartment
Now let's say you are pleased with the facility and you would like to actually downsize and help your parent(s )move into this facility. What should you bring/ Should you start from scratch and buy all new furniture and accessories? Or should you bring mom or dad's old furniture?
What You Should Bring To An Assisted Living Apartment?
Here is what I have discovered....these apartments are generally very small. They can not handle large bedroom sets, big China closets, huge dining room sets , big old couches. What might make sense is to select certain cherished pieces and integrate them with some new smaller furnishings.
Trading In Your Couch For Two Comfy Chairs
One couple I recently met showed me their downsized apartment. They traded in a couch for two comfy matching leather chairs, each with a foot rest. This arrangement allowed them more room and flexibility to move the chairs as needed. They did however bring all their favorite paintings and photographs which hang in their living room and second bedroom.
Think Carefully About Your Bed Arrangement
Another resident I was introduced to at an area Assisted Living residence brought a few pieces from her bedroom set, along with her lamps, but decided to order a new full size bed to replace her very old tired mattress and over sized bed frame. For couples where one or both members are ill, I strongly suggest buying two twin beds. Trust me, you will find this arrangement much more practical when nursing needs increase such as Oxygen or bed baths etc.
Re-Creating That Cozy Feeling
It is important to help older adults make the best transition they can to a new residence. It is critical for them to feel as much at home in the new place as the can. Bringing special items from home will help make the adjustment that much easier!
For some great help on estate liquidation, visit Estate Mavens on I Antique Online.com. This is a group forum that I initiated to help others cope with managing estates and downsizing parents.
Photos taken at Seymour Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT.
C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at firstname.lastname@example.orgVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists