How to Make Senior Living Feel More Like Home for Your Loved Ones

How to Make Senior Living Feel More Like Home for Your Loved Ones
April 7, 2020

Do you worry that your mom or dad isn’t safe at home alone anymore? Do you find them forgetting to turn off the stove after dinner is made? Are you worried they aren’t taking all their medications correctly?

Taking away your parent’s independence can be a tough decision for any family. Here we offer some tips for making the adjustment to their new senior living facility easier.

How to know if your parent needs a senior living home

When you think of moving mom to a senior living community it gives you peace of mind. But for her, it might mean leaving behind all her memories, neighbors, and routines.

When you see a place for your dad that doesn’t require any maintenance or house projects, you rest easy knowing he won’t be needlessly climbing any more ladders. But for him, he sees you taking away all his tools as well as his independence.

When you reach a point in your life that the care-giving roles have reversed it can be confusing and tumultuous. Your roles have been turned upside down and now you must make the decisions for their well-being instead.

If you worry that your mom or dad isn’t safe at home anymore, it may be time to discuss with them about moving to a senior care home. The MayoClinic offers this article discussing eight signs your mom or dad may require a higher level of medical care.

Different levels of senior care available

There are different levels of senior care available to your mom or dad. Depending on their specific health care needs, you will want to ensure you pick the best level of care for them. Many facilities offer a community that can provide a place that feels more like home senior care instead of a nursing home.

Here are the different levels of care available:

  • In-home care
  • Independent living
  • Residential care
  • Assisted living
  • Memory care
  • Nursing homes

If you would like more information on each level of care, this article outlines each level and what you can expect with each one. As DHS explains, sometimes a simple phone call isn’t enough to determine if your mom or dad needs more care than they can get at home.

Schedule a trip to visit with them and watch for signs that your parent could benefit from moving to a senior living home. Coming to terms with moving can be difficult. But once you have made the decision to move, there are some tips we have put together to help you make the transition easier.

7 tips to create an inviting living space

  1. Bring plenty of family photos – leaving their family home doesn’t mean they need to leave behind their memories. Fill their new home with family photos to ensure they are surrounded by their loved ones in their new place.
  2. Choose cheerful colors – depending on the level of care you are moving your loved one into, some places may have more of a hospital feel. By adding bright and cheerful decorations you can make their new facility feel more homey and inviting. 
  3. Buy new furniture – don’t just bring their old furniture because they have had it forever. Use this as an opportunity to get them new pieces of furniture that will be a better fit. If you can, visit the new facility and measure the space, then purchase new furniture that will fit perfectly rather than force their old furniture into a smaller space.
  4. Find furniture that does double duty – As you look at new furniture, consider items that can serve double duty. Items such as ottomans that double as storage can be a great place to keep their favorite blankets and decorative pillows.
  5. Decorate with their favorite treasures – speaking of their favorite blankets, encourage them to bring along their favorite treasures. This can help ease the transition to their new senior living facilities when they can be surrounded by their favorite keepsakes.
  6. Attend activities with them – attending social activities alone might be intimidating for your mom or dad, especially if they have been used to attending events as a couple. Offer to go with them in the beginning, talk with other residents and find those with things in common with your mom or dad, help them to get out and meet new people. From art classes to book clubs to gardening, activities at senior living homes go far beyond bingo these days.
  7. Find out about exercise classes – movement is important throughout our lives, but as we age it becomes imperative to not become sedentary. Find out if their new facility offers exercise classes and encourage your parent to get involved. 

Make their new house a home

From family photos to their cherished keepsakes you can make any place feel like home. With a little forethought and insight you can preserve your mom’s favorite items and be sure to bring them along to her new home.

Even if you can’t bring her bed, see if you can bring her favorite linens or bedspread. The small things can help mom adjust to her new living place. 

Change is hard for everyone. But this can be especially true for your aging parents who might have lived in the same home for a large majority of their adult lives. If they are also dealing with the loss of a spouse, then this time of change can be excruciating. 

Make this transition easier for your parent or loved one with these tips to make their new senior living home more inviting. 

If you would like to hear more, we would love to share with you The Sonnet Way and what makes us different. Book your tour today and see how we can help you make the transition easier for your parent. 

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