When the time comes that you need to move your elderly parents to a retirement home, there are steps you can take to make a move easier for them. If your parent is resistant to moving, you can start by talking about the idea of moving and some of the options they will have for places to live. Here are some tips to get you started.
Choose something they will enjoy.
One of the best ways to make the transition from home to a retirement home for your elderly parents is to find a place they will sincerely enjoy being at. You can find a luxury home community where they can get to know their neighbors, enjoy community activities and feel safe.
You can choose a community with a pool, a cleaner, tennis courts, or shuffleboards. Look for things you know your parents will enjoy during. If there is a local retirement home where they already know people, take them their first to see friends while previewing the homes.
Make it feel like home.
Bring their favorite things like furniture, blankets, and coffee mugs to make it feel like home. You want their new home to be their sanctuary, which means making it feel as cozy and familiar as possible. Bring your parents’ decorations to decorate the new place. If there are options of rooms or apartments, choose one you know your parents would enjoy most.
For example, if rooms face a wooded area or a body of water and you think they would enjoy the view more, try to arrange that. Be sure to bring plenty of family photos to put up in their new home. Depending on the retirement community, you may even be able to paint the place to colors your parents love.
Remember the things that are important to them.
For many older adults, moving to a retirement home means a loss of freedom. As their adult child, it is important to remember what is important to them even if it isn’t important to you. For example, if your parents are religious, you can get church candles or holy water for their room. Depending on the time of year and what is safest for them, you can choose taper candles, votive candles, pillar candles, beeswax candles, or advent candles.
You can also make sure they have wreaths to hang up during the different church seasons to remind them of the holidays. If they’re really into sports, you can move in some sports memorabilia and make sure the TV is easily accessible and comfortable to watch for game days. If your parents still love to cook, find a place where they will have their own kitchen, and it is large enough for them to cook in.
Make all the arrangements.
Moving can be stressful for anyone, particularly an older adult. Take away the stress by making all the arrangements for them. Get everything arranged with the new place, get them packed, moved, and their stuff set up in their new home. You can unpack and arrange most of it based on how they had their old home, and once most of it is done, they can come help with the remaining tasks. The less your parents need to do for the move, the easier it will be for them.
While they may want to be more involved, give them tasks that will mitigate the stress of the move. For example, take them shopping to pick out new towels or a new bathmat and shower curtain. It will give them a greater sense of ownership during the move.