I'm moving my parents into assisted living next week. Any suggestions on making this move easier for them? - AgingCare.com

I'm moving my parents into assisted living next week. Any suggestions on making this move easier for them?

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Tell your parents what my 88-year-old mom said after she moved to an assisted living place: "I wish I'd known how great this is! I wish I'd done this ten years ago!"

She's been there two years now and wouldn't have it otherwise. Loves it.

All of us in the family had the assumption that senior residences were basically nursing homes, the kind everyone's scared of. Were we wrong! My mom's place is great--as much help as she needs and all the independence she enjoys and can handle. Living with one of her children, there was the mother/daughter role reversal complication and pain; my sister was so scared something might happen to my mom that she almost made her a prisoner (or so it felt to my mom--who naturally started rebelling!). My sister meant well, but went too far. Easy to do. But when my mom moved to assisted living and could call the shots, but still had someone interested and available, she started being as sensible as she had been before the conflict with my sister, and she became much much happier. "I feel like myself again," she said. Not someone's charge or prisoner, not someone afraid to cause a stir in the family--just another adult among other adults, with other good people around to help if and when needed, but not to hover.

A key joy for my mom was to be living among OTHER people with walkers or wheelchairs, so she wasn't the ONLY one, the strange one, the old lady to be pitied; she was just "one of us". And more: She now lives with friends from her own generation, her own culture, values, memories...it's a much friendlier world for her than the second decade of the 21st Century!

It means a lot to her for family to visit, but she's got her own life now, thank you, and doesn't need either the cosseting or the anxiety that used to always be there.
We're all happier--and tell you what: at 68 myself, I'm thinking how "when I grow up" I hope I get to live the way she's living now!
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Im moving my Mom out of assist to her own place again, cause the food got to be so bad and unhealthy. Any hints moving her from toen she has been in for 62 years. Moving her to a small small town with beauty that is magical. What things shod I be ready to take on...finding the first doctor is the first and most important. Then WhaT??
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That's really neat that your mom is into baseball! My late aunt was too. My mom isn't (and I'm not either). Your dad may surprise you once he gets settled in and realizes the positives of where they are. It will just take a bit of time. My dad didn't want to leave their home of 35 years, but my mom and my brother and I made it happen. He was happy where he was, because he didn't have to do anything, my mom did all of the work. My dad refused to lift a finger to help us go through their 35 years of accumulated stuff, and then once they moved, he'd get mad when he'd look for stuff and we'd tossed it, since he didn't help and let us know his wishes. Oh well, too bad so sad. I didn't let that bother me.

It's a hard transition when the roles switch and we become the 'parents' to our parents, who have transitioned to being more like the kids in the relationship. I never had children, but taking care of my mom now is very much (I imagine) like having a child. I always have to be thinking ahead and planning and figuring out how things will work with her, because she's lost that ability. I have to do the thinking for both of us.
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Blannie, she is a big Cardinals fan - so sorry not a Cubs fan - so we have MLB extra innings for her and are a putting a TV in her room. The big screen TV is going in the living area - I am afraid he will just lay in bed and not get up if we put it in his bedroom. As you can see, I am trying to think this through but am totally stressed. I really appreciate your support.
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Well you sound like a sharp cookie, so I'm sure you'll navigate your parents' move pretty well. My dad was a markets guy too and would have the CNBC ticker tape scrolling all day long (no sound on), so my mom couldn't really watch TV. Your dad is probably really angry and his loss of independence and is just taking it out on you. Hopefully with time, he'll come around.

Good luck and keep us posted!!
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Your dad is probably angry with you the most because he feels closest to you and we always tend to lash out at those we love and know the most... it's not fair, it's just life. Once he settles in and gets a new routine going for himself, he will probably thank you (in his own little way). :-)
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My parents were in Southern Illinois - where I grew up. Your parents do sound like mine. We have purchased a large flat screen for him - he's a news and market person and some new books on tape for my mom. She appears to be looking forward to meeting people - he is just really angry about the whole situation and more than angry with me. I understand the necessity of meeting staff, etc. Both of my parents were in rehab and it made a difference that I knew all of the staff and was a regular visitor. The move is on Monday - so I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for all of your suggestions. You have been very helpful.
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Your mom and dad sound a lot like mine. I moved them from central IL to be near me in the Chicago area. So they left all of their friends (my mom anyway). My dad was in the Air Force, so my family is used to moving around. My dad was never social and my mom did everything for him. They both adjusted very well to independent living. My dad was happy as long as someone had his meals ready and he had his TV and books. :) Mom was happy because she no longer had to cook for them.

My mom made a number of friends in the place. My dad died over 3 years ago after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He moved from the Independent Living are to the Skilled Nursing area, so stayed in the same large facility until he passed away. My mom is still going strong at going on 94. She's at the point now where she's happy to stay in her apt most of the time. I get her books and she reads voraciously. Unfortunately in the 12 years, most all of my mom's new friends have either died or had to leave because of money. So she's more isolated than I'd like to see, but I can't do anything about that. She seems very happy. She's not one to go to activities or church services. So I try to get her out to restaurants and the farmer's market and a bit of shopping when the weather is good.

If it was me, I'd at least share a few meals with them in the dining room for the first few days. And stop by a couple of times to make sure everything is going OK. You're sure to hear some complaints and hopefully some things they really like. I've found over time I have to assume more and more responsibility and just be on the lookout for things. Like when I last visited, I just happened to notice my mom's clocks had stopped - they had a power failure. She didn't remember to tell me (she has no short-term memory any more). Also her night light was out. So I'm very eagle-eyed when I visit mom to make sure everything looks OK and she's taking her meds, etc.
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Try to move as much furniture as you can ahead of time to reduce the stress on your parents.
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Blannie, you asked specifics about my parents. But first - thanks to all.
I really appreciate all your suggestions. My parents are 86 and 89. My dad has Parkinson's and Diabetes and after some recent surgery has a walker. He is unable to shower or to toilet without help. My mom has been diagnosed with
vascular dementia. She has trouble with the phone, remote controls, anything with numbers. Her physical health is good with the exception of her eyesight - she has macular degeneration and glaucoma. They have been living with me the last 3 years and had caregivers during the day for the last 3 months- since they are no longer able to stay by themselves and I have a business. They moved from their Midwest home of 55 years to Florida to live with me. It has been a hard adjustment for them since they left their small town. church and friends to a larger city. My mother is very social - my father is not. He is very self-centered and used to my mother waiting on him for every thing. I am hoping that my mom will be able to have some sort of social life - something that she has been missing for the last 3 years. I am hoping that my dad will have someone to help him other than my mother.
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