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Janice Swanner

Janice Swanner, BSN, CHPN

Operational Director
North Scottsdale Assisted Living North Scottsdale
Central Scottsdale Assisted Living Scottsdale Ranch
Phoenix Assisted Living 19th Pl. #1
Phoenix Assisted Living 19th Pl. #2
(480) 605-4002

Brian Newton

Assistant Manager of Operations

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What Can You Do to Help a Senior Settle into Assisted Living During those First Few Weeks?

Assisted Living Troon North, AZ: Settling Into Assisted Living

The first few weeks of a move can be the most difficult. This is especially true when the move is not something you really looked forward to. Imagine you were that aging senior in your life who recently moved into assisted living, perhaps against their true desires.

You can’t force somebody to make any elder care decision they don’t want to, but you can certainly learn more about the various options available and educate them along the way.

Most people recognize their limited physical abilities over time. They don’t always accept them, but they realize things are more challenging. They understand things are going to get tougher. And they know full well help is needed at times.

When an aging senior first chooses assisted living as their elder care future, you might feel relief. You may be excited for them. The more research you’ve done, the more you realize this is truly a new opportunity for them.

However, settling in can be difficult. People get homesick. They get lonely. They become incredibly shy, even the most outgoing, robust individuals can find themselves hiding in their room for too many days on end.

There are some things you can do that can help make a difference for that elderly person in your life who’s struggling to settle in at assisted living.

Avoid calling or stopping by too often.

Assisted Living Troon North, AZ: Settling Into Assisted Living
Assisted Living Troon North, AZ: Settling Into Assisted Living

If you call morning, noon, and night, stop by a couple of days during the week, and every weekend, guess what? You’re not giving that senior time to get out and explore. Initially, they will probably hide more in their room and then wait for your call. If they know you’re calling in the morning, early afternoon, late afternoon, and then evening, they might just stay by the phone instead of going out to see what the assisted living community offers.

If you stop by every weekend, what’s the motivation for them to participate in group activities that may take place on those weekends? Limit your calls and visits to allow them time to get out and explore.

Encourage them to walk around.

Depending on the facility, there may be wonderful walking areas, garden paths, or safe outdoor places to sit and enjoy some good weather. Encourage them to do that. 

Even if that’s not something they normally did in the past, this is a new opportunity. Let them know it’s good to get out and see what’s around them.

Ask who they met and what they did.

When you ask somebody who they met the day, you’re putting them on the spot. They might say ‘no one,’ but be incredulous. Prod them, inquire, and eventually they’ll probably open up and start talking about the different people they got to know a little better that day.

Avoid complaining on their behalf.

The senior might be complaining about the food, the entertainment, the movie choices, the activities, the staff, the bed, the lights, and so much more. That’s not that uncommon for somebody a bit resistant to the assisted living lifestyle.

Instead of immediately calling the staff with all their gripes, give it time. Let the senior take up any issues they have with the administrators. If things don’t improve after a few weeks, that’s a different story, but in those initial weeks, step back and just give it some time. Most often, seniors learn to love assisted living for many good reasons.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering a move to Assisted Living in Troon North, AZ please contact the caring staff at MD Senior Living today. 480-267-9200

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