Driving Aids to Assist Seniors

March 23, 2020

Driving aids help keep older adults safer behind the wheel of a car. Here are a few to explore.

Driving represents freedom to many people. This may be especially true for older adults struggling to hang on to their independence. Staying safe behind the wheel as you grow older can become difficult. If a senior loved one is experiencing driving issues common among older drivers, there might be a solution.

As technology expands, there is an ever-increasing number of driving aids designed to assist seniors. Safely entering and exiting a vehicle or turning to look over the shoulder can be more difficult when you are older.

Some popular driving aids may help keep a senior in your family safer behind the wheel of their car.

Driving Aids for Senior Drivers

While there is an ever-increasing number of driving aids on the market, some of the most useful for senior drivers’ common struggles include:

  • Swivel seat cushion

One way older drivers experience the greatest number of falls is entering or exiting their vehicle. A simple, inexpensive device that can help is a swivel seat cushion. These allow an older adult to safely rotate their body and slide behind the steering wheel or swivel to the side and exit the vehicle. For seniors who have a balance disorder, this device can be a lifesaver. Another benefit of swivel cushions is the boost in height they give older drivers. That can make it easier to see over the steering wheel.

  • Seat belt grabber

The statistics are clear when it comes to seat belts and safety: they save lives. According to the United States Department of Transportation, 47% of the 37,133 people killed in car accidents in 2017 were not wearing seat belts. But for some senior drivers, reaching over to pull the seat harness closed is very painful. Older adults with osteoarthritis or back and shoulder problems find this motion uncomfortable.

A driving aid known as a seat belt pull may be a solution. Most provide an additional four to six inches of reach. The device acts as a handle to give the senior something easier to grab and pull.

  • Mirror adaptors/extenders

Another common struggle for older drivers is seeing in the rearview and side mirrors. An easy solution is installing panoramic mirrors. They give the driver a broader view of their vehicle’s surroundings. Blindspot mirrors also make it easier for adults who have neck and shoulder injuries that make turning to look behind them painful.

  • Pedal extenders

Decreasing height is a reality for many seniors. Losing a few inches can make it tough to reach the gas pedal and brake. A device called a foot pedal extender can help.

These driving aids extend the length of the pedals. That makes it easier, safer, and more comfortable for a senior to drive. It has the added safety benefit of keeping an older driver from sitting too close to the steering wheel. If the senior has to sit on the edge of the seat to reach the pedals, they can be injured if the airbags deploy.

Finally, the nonskid surface of a pedal extender helps decrease the risk of the senior’s foot sliding off the pedal, causing an accident.

Most of the devices listed above can be found online or at your local automotive store.

Transportation Services at Legacy Senior Living

If your loved one is ready to hang up their car keys for good, it may be a great time to consider moving to an independent or assisted living community. Because transportation is typically provided, it may be easier to give up driving.

Call the Legacy community nearest you to learn more about our transportation programs!

Signs a Senior Needs More Help Than They Can Get at Home

February 24, 2020

Wondering if an aging parent needs to consider moving to assisted living? Here are a few of the most common warning signs.

Young nurse reading a book to elder woman sitting close

While many older adults can benefit from the services and amenities offered by a senior living community, there are some for whom the support could be especially life-changing. Having a little extra assistance when it’s needed can help seniors avoid the negative effects of a fall, medication mismanagement, or poor nutrition.

If you are an adult child concerned about the welfare of your aging parent and you are considering senior living, learning how to spot the warning signs is essential.

Is It Time to Encourage a Parent to Move to Senior Living?

  • Is your parent’s home putting them at risk for a fall?

Seniors often live in the same house for decades. While the familiarity of home may be important to them, most older houses weren’t designed with the unique needs of seniors in mind. An abundance of stairs, poor lighting, and a lack of handrails or walk-in showers may increase the risk for a serious fall.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. An estimated 2.5 million seniors experience a fall every year. Experts believe this number might be even higher, as older adults don’t always tell family members that they suffered a fall.

Moving to an environment designed with an older adult’s safety in mind, such as an assisted living community, might be a better option than remaining at home.

  • Is your parent becoming isolated due to their health or a lack of transportation?

Isolation is a serious health risk for older adults. It contributes to everything from obesity and depression to heart disease and diabetes. When a senior has a mobility impairment, it can make it tough for them to stay involved in their community.

The same holds true for an older adult who has given up driving. Finding affordable, safe transportation solutions may be difficult. The senior might be reluctant to ask friends or family members for a ride out of fear they will be a burden.

Isolation and loneliness can be the result of both issues. By moving to a more accessible environment, a senior can make friends more easily, take advantage of transportation services, and participate in both on-site activities and local events.


  • Is your parent suffering from poor nutrition?

When menu planning, grocery shopping, and meal preparation become more difficult, it’s easy to rely on convenience and fast foods. For some seniors, especially those struggling with medical issues, healthy cooking for one or two feels like too much work. But good nutrition is vital for avoiding illness or even a fall.

Moving to an assisted living community can be an ideal solution. Most communities offer well-balanced meals and a variety of menu options and settings.


  • Is your parent mismanaging their medication?

Older adults often require a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Staying organized and on track with each one, as well as remembering to order refills in a timely manner, can be a challenge.

Medication mistakes pose a problem that can land seniors in a hospital emergency room on a regular basis. From forgetting to take one medicine to taking too much of another, these errors can be dangerous.

Assisted living communities have medication management programs in place that are designed to reduce the risk of mistakes. In fact, it’s one of the most popular services in many communities.


  • Is your health suffering?

Finally, are the demands of caregiving putting your own health at risk? Providing care to a loved one can be physically and emotionally exhausting for family members. Caregivers experience more headaches, back injuries, sleep problems, and stomach problems than their non-caregiving peers.

If your health is declining, it might be time to explore assisted living communities for your parent.

Visit a Legacy Senior Living Community Today

The best way to learn more about assisted living is to visit in person. We invite you to call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you to schedule a private tour today!

 

How Senior Move Managers Can Ease the Transition to Assisted Living

January 27, 2020

If the idea of downsizing is keeping you or a loved one from moving to assisted living, a senior move manager might be the solution. 

Moving to a new residence can be overwhelmingly hard work. The task may be even more difficult if you are assisting a senior who has lived in their home for many years. The older adult likely has acquired many belongings that you will need to sort through.

The prospect of downsizing and packing can leave families feeling daunted about how and where to begin. If this sounds like your family’s situation, the support of an experienced, professional senior move manager may be helpful.

What Is a Senior Move Manager?

While you can easily hire professional movers to do the heavy lifting, most aren’t experts at managing the unique needs of older adults. A senior move manager has experience with those issues, from the emotions of leaving the family home behind to understanding how to dispose of unneeded items.

Senior move managers are trained to support older adults throughout the process of downsizing and moving. They also know how to help a senior and their family navigate the emotional highs and lows that accompany a move.

A senior move manager typically begins by sitting down with a family to create a relocation plan. It will include all the tasks that must be completed prior to moving to a senior living community.

A few additional ways a senior move manager can help during this process include:

  • Develop a timeline for the move from start to finish

  • Create a floor plan for furniture in the new apartment or villa

  • Sort, pack, donate or dispose of household treasures and belongings

  • Set up an online auction to sell unneeded items

  • Make arrangements for an estate sale or auction

  • Schedule local charities to pick up unneeded items

  • Interview and supervise a moving company

  • Oversee a cleaning service after the old house is vacated

  • Unpack and settle the new apartment or villa

To find a certified senior move manager near you, search the online database for the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Senior Move Manager

When you are hiring any professional, including a senior move manager, asking the right questions is essential. Here are a few to help you identify a move manager who is the best fit for your family:

  • How much experience do you have as a move manager?
  • How many seniors have you assisted with this process?
  • Are you NASSM certified, or have you completed another formal training program?
  • How do you charge for your services—hourly or by the job?
  • Will you provide a written quote and a contract?
  • Are you bonded and insured for theft or damage that may occur during the packing process or move?
  • Are you fully insured for liability and workers’ compensation for yourself and any employees you have?
  • Can you provide references, including phone numbers of past clients?

The bottom line is that finding a partner who can guide your family through this process can make the transition to a senior living community easier for everyone.

Legacy Senior Living Serves Seniors in the Southeast

If you are beginning the search for independent or assisted living, we encourage you to visit a Legacy Senior Living community. With communities in six southern states, you’ll find a variety of services and amenities designed to help older adults enjoy their best quality of life. Call us today to set up a time for your private tour!

How Assisted Living Promotes Senior Independence

December 2, 2019

Assisted living communities provide just the right balance between support and independence. Learn more about the benefits here.

Maintaining independence can become more challenging with age. While seniors frequently associate moving to an assisted living community with a loss of freedom, the opposite is actually true. Assisted living residents have their own private apartment, with caregivers nearby to provide a helping hand as needed.

Assisted living communities create an individualized care plan for each resident. It acts as a guide for delivering just the right amount of care and support to enable an older adult to remain both safe and independent.

The Benefits of an Assisted Living Community

For some seniors, having a helping hand to stay on track with medications can prevent a mistake that results in a trip to the emergency room. Others find they can take advantage of an assisted living community’s transportation services to see the doctor on a regular basis.

A well-balanced diet helps to nourish the body. It is essential for maintaining muscle mass, which is vital for avoiding a debilitating fall. That’s another way assisted living promotes senior independence.

From opportunities to stay active and engaged to well-balanced meals, assisted living also offers myriad benefits to older adults:

  • Care that changes with needs: While a senior might move to an assisted living community when they are still relatively independent, a good community will offer additional care solutions as an elder’s needs change. That lowers stress associated with future care and provides peace of mind to older adults and their loved ones.
  • Events and activities: From art classes to movie nights, assisted living communities give residents a variety of ways to meet new friends and pursue engaging activities. Both are essential for preventing some of the health conditions associated with isolation and loneliness, such as diabetes and depression.
  • Maintenance-free living: Seniors who have a house to maintain might continue to tackle repairs and household chores that may put them at risk for a fall. Tasks as seemingly simple as climbing a ladder to change a light bulb become more dangerous as you grow older. In an assisted living community, the burdens of homeownership are left behind. Household chores, maintenance, and repairs are taken care of for you.
  • Stay-well programs: A quality assisted living community, such as Legacy Senior Living, places great emphasis on health and wellness. They offer programs designed to help residents live their best quality of life. You’ll find stretching classes, chair yoga, raised beds for gardening, and meditation.
  • Other necessities and conveniences: Assisted living communities also offer a host of other amenities. For example, on-site beauty and barber shops give residents easy access to haircuts, manicures, and other services. Other popular amenities range from aides to assist with pet care to concierge services to sign for packages.

Tour a Legacy Senior Living Community Near You

The holidays are a great time of year to visit and tour an assisted living community. The halls are festively decked and holiday carols abound. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you today to schedule a private visit!

Gift Guide for Seniors in Assisted Living

November 11, 2019

Are you struggling to think of a holiday gift for an older adult who lives in an assisted living community? Here are a few ideas you might find helpful.

Every year as the holidays approach, we hear a familiar question from adult children: what gift can we get our mom or dad? Purchasing a holiday gift for a senior who seems to have everything because they live in an assisted living community where most of their wants and needs are provided.

We do have a few suggestions for gifts residents enjoy and several ideas for meaningful experience gifts.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Assisted Living Residents

  • Personalized stationery:

This is a generation that still believes in writing letters and sending personal thank-you notes. A thoughtful holiday gift might be stationery set with their name and address printed on it, along with address labels, postage stamps, and a nice pen.

  • Plants:

While a senior may not have a lot of extra room in their apartment or suite, there’s always space for plants! In addition to making the home look more inviting, many plants also purify the air.

  • Digital subscriptions:

While many senior living communities offer cable, they don’t usually include subscriptions to specialty channels. You could pay for a yearly membership to Netflix or Hulu so the senior has instant access to movies and favorite television series.

  • Arts and crafts supplies:

Ample research shows the health benefits of engaging in artsy pursuits. From better brain function to a stronger immune system, supplies that spark creativity make for some healthy fun. You can also purchase or put together a fun craft kit or scrapbooking sets, such as drawing supplies or a beginner watercolor package.

  • Indulgence gifts:

A senior on a tight budget might not indulge themselves often. That’s why gifts like a favorite perfume or cologne might be appreciated. A gift certificate for a manicure or hair cut at their assisted living community’s beauty/barbershop or gift cards to local restaurants are also treats.

  • Charitable donations:

You might consider donating to a charity the senior feels passionate about. You could include logo gifts from the charity’s online store. Many sell T-shirts, mugs, hats, and more to raise additional funds.

Giving Experience Gifts during the Holidays

For many older adults, quality time may be the greatest holiday gift of all. You can plan a special outing or gathering to celebrate the season with your loved one. Bringing together several generations of the family is a gift that keeps on giving. Giving Seniors “Experience” Gifts this Holiday Season has a variety of suggestions.

Visit a Legacy Community during the Holidays

If you’ve been considering visiting a senior living community on behalf of a loved one, drop by during the holidays. From joyful choral concerts to games, the holidays are a festive time to visit. Call the Legacy community nearest you to set up a time.

 

Should You Look for Senior Living Close to Your Home or an Adult Child’s?

October 16, 2019

Should you retire near your current home or move near your adult child? Here are a few factors to consider before deciding.

Should you move close to your home or you child's home?

Choosing a senior living community isn’t always easy. With a variety of housing types available, finding the one that best meets your needs can take time and research. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is where you want to start looking.

Many seniors find themselves debating whether they should move near an adult child’s home or find a senior living community near their current home. Even after exploring communities in both places, the decision may not be clear. If you are struggling, we have a few suggestions that might help.

Where to Search for Senior Living

If you take the following factors into consideration, you’ll likely arrive at an informed decision:

1. Is the quality of senior living better in one area?

This is clearly an important consideration. While most cities and towns have a variety of options from which to choose, some are often better than others. We always recommend families spend time reviewing state survey results of any community they are considering. Many states now publish these online to make it easier for seniors and their adult children to access. Check your state’s Department of Aging or Department of Human Services site for more information.

2. Is your adult child likely to move?

Career choices often require adult children to move to another city or state. Sometimes families are separated by great distances. Another key determinant in deciding if you want to move closer to an adult child is how long they will be there. If their job may require them to move again, you could find yourself alone in a new place without family nearby.

3. Which location offers greater companionship?

Many people want to be close to their loved ones as they grow older. When you are relocating away from a place you lived for decades to an all-new environment, it may be tough to start over. This is especially true if your adult child is busy with a career and family of their own.

If you are a senior who has a wide circle of friends you see often and a social life that you enjoy, staying close to your current home may be best. If you don’t have a supportive circle of friends nearby, relocating closer to family may be a better choice.

4. How well do you adapt to change?

Moving to a senior living community can be a big transition that takes time to adapt to. If you are someone for whom change is difficult, you might find it very difficult to relocate far from your longtime home. A senior living community near your current home might make for an easier transition.

By contrast, if you are someone who loves new adventures, the opportunity to explore a new city or state might be a welcome change.

Senior Living in the Southeast

If your search for a senior living community takes you to Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee or Virginia, we hope you will make time to visit us. With fourteen senior living communities in the southeast, Legacy offers a variety of options. Contact the community in your desired location to schedule a private tour today!

3 Tips for Parting with a Senior’s Home

September 24, 2019

 

If you are helping a senior loved one prepare to sell their home, the process can be emotional. These tips can make the parting a little easier.

Moving is tough at any age. Cleaning out the closets, arranging for movers, and packing up belongings is a lot of hard work. Parting with a house you love and where you have created good memories can make the transition more difficult. This is especially true for older adults who have often lived in the same house for decades. In many instances, the senior is giving up the home where they raised their family.

If your senior loved one is struggling with this new chapter in life, we have a few suggestions that might help.

Helping a Senior Part with Their Home

1. Document the life and history of the house.

Much of what makes it difficult for a senior to part with their house is likely the memories that were made in it. Finding a meaningful way to document the good times—and bad times—that happened there might make the transition a little less emotional.

You can use old videos to create a story of the home and family over the years. If you don’t have old videos available, there are platforms that allow you to turn photos into a video. Animoto and Smilebox are two free ones to try. You might also consider creating a photo album the senior can look at and enjoy for years to come.

2. Bring a part of the home and garden with them.

An older adult may find it easier to part with their home if they can take a piece of it with them when they move. It might be a few of their favorite flowers from the perennial garden, a raspberry bush from the backyard, or an antique light from the dining room. Help them figure out what they love most about the house and how it may be possible to bring their favorite things along with them.

3. Host a going away party before leaving.

While it may not seem feasible when you are busy packing and preparing to leave, hosting a simple potluck might help your senior loved one find closure. It can give everyone in your family member’s life a chance to celebrate in the home one last time. Be sure to take a lot of photos and videos to document the party!

Be Patient During the Transition

One final suggestion is to be patient with your older loved one and yourself. Change is difficult, and some days will be better than others. If you have realistic expectations, it will likely make the transition easier for the entire family.

Visit a Legacy Senior Living Community

If you are searching for a senior living community in the southeast, we invite you to visit Legacy Senior Living. With locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia, we have options to meet every need and interest. Call us at 423-478-8071 to learn more!

4 Tips for Talking with a Parent about Giving Up Driving

August 19, 2019

Driving represents independence to most adults, including seniors. If you need advice for talking with a loved one about giving up their keys, this will help.

Bringing up the topic of safe driving, or hanging up their keys for good, with a senior parent can be difficult. Adult children typically dread this conversation. It’s often easy to avoid the discussion until a crisis forces the conversation. Hopefully, this will never be the case.

If you are struggling with how to initiate a conversation about driving with a senior you love, we have a few tips that will help.

  1. Demonstrate empathy and kindness.

Before you tackle a sensitive topic like driving, take time to reflect on what this change will mean for your loved one. Not being able to drive can be damaging to a senior’s self-esteem if not handled well. For most people, driving represents independence and freedom.

Giving up driving may also take an emotional toll:

  • Feeling forced to rely on others for transportation
  • Feeling like a burden on a busy loved one’s schedule
  • Feeling frustration at the inability to leave the house freely or without preplanning

Keep these factors in mind as you talk about driving with your senior loved one.

  1. Do some research first.

Before you initiate a conversation about driving with an older loved one, do some research. Explore local transportation services that are accessible and priced fairly. If you create a list of options, so they know they will be able to remain independent, the senior might not be as reluctant to limit or give up driving.

  1. Explore limitations and adaptive equipment.

Some age-related changes can make it more difficult to drive, but that doesn’t always mean the senior should stop driving altogether. Seniors can choose to impose personal limitations on when or how far they drive. There may also be adaptive devices or vehicle modifications that allow a senior to be a safe driver for a few more years.

Consider a few examples that might keep your older loved one driving longer:

  • Avoid nighttime driving: If night vision is an issue, as it is for many seniors, suggest they limit their driving to the daytime.
  • Drive during off-hours: Driving during rush hour can be daunting for people of all ages. Suggest your family member avoid driving during the busiest times of day.
  • Drive only to locations nearby: Encourage your loved one to only drive to locations within a few miles from home, such as to the grocery store or bank. By setting a personal boundary as to how far they drive, seniors can still maintain some independence.
  • Explore adaptive devices: From swivel seat cushions to extra large mirrors, there are a variety of devices designed to overcome common challenges older drivers face. Many are inexpensive and easy to install.
  1. Don’t let age be the primary determinant.

There is no particular age when seniors should stop driving. An older adult’s fitness for driving should be the primary determinant in whether or not it’s time to stop. Is the Senior Driver in Your Family Safe Behind the Wheel has good information and resources for helping you objectively assess a senior’s driving skills.

Transportation Is Available at Legacy Senior Living

One of the most popular services at Legacy Senior Living communities is transportation. Residents rely on it for everything from physician appointments to shopping trips. It’s much easier and less expensive than maintaining a car.

Call us today at 423-478-8071 to learn more!

The Differences between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

July 22, 2019

If you aren’t sure about differences between assisted living and nursing homes, this information will help you learn more.

When a senior in the family begins to require a little extra help, sometimes their loved ones can be confused about what type of care they need and how to find it. Because the differences in senior living aren’t always obvious, deciding between an assisted living community or a nursing home can be challenging.

People don’t always know that these are two very different types of senior care. Adult children who haven’t been through the process of finding senior living for a family member often think an assisted living community is just a more upscale version of a nursing home.

There are many myths surrounding senior living that further complicate the issue. It’s no wonder families end up confused and unsure about what type of care is the best solution for their loved one.

To help make your search a little easier, we’ll explain the differences between an assisted living community and a nursing home while also dispelling the most common myths.

Dispelling Myths About Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

Myth: The only difference between a nursing home and an assisted living community is their appearance. Both types of senior living offer the same care and services.

Fact: While these two kinds of senior housing typically differ in appearance, the primary contrast is in the types of care and services that are offered. That’s why it is important to learn a little more about each one.

Assisted living communities are home to older adults who need support with life’s daily activities. Some require assistance with personal care (e.g., bathing, grooming, and dressing) and many need help with medication management. These communities are also known for providing well-balanced meals, and a variety of life-enrichment programs every day.

A nursing home is designed for those who require medical care delivered by skilled health care professionals. For example, it would be a solution for a senior who needs skilled nursing assistance with a wound that won’t heal or an older adult with a tracheotomy that requires respiratory therapy.

Myth: Seniors who need help with medication can only go to a nursing home, not an assisted living community.

Fact: While nursing homes do provide medication management services, so do most assisted living communities. In fact, most assisted living residents receive some type of medication support. Considering some older take 5 or more medications/supplements each day, it’s easy to understand why this service is standard in most assisted living communities.

Myth: Only wealthy people can afford an assisted living community.

Fact: This persistent myth might be caused by seniors and their families not understanding all of the services included in the monthly fee. As they learn more, they discover what a true value assisted living can be.

Many of the expenses associated with maintaining a private home are included in the basic monthly fee at an assisted living community—room and board, utilities, basic cable, local phone service, some transportation, healthy meals and snacks, housekeeping, lawn care, and snow shoveling. Other expenses that are often part of the monthly fee are fitness classes and life-enrichment programs.

Myth: Assisted living and nursing home residents don’t have much to do beyond watching television and playing bingo.

Fact: Both assisted living communities and nursing homes offer a variety of daily activities. They tend to be programs that nurture the body, mind, and spirit. The difference is that activities in nursing homes are designed to work around the medical needs and limitations of residents. Some even offer one-on-one activities, such as reading, with nursing home residents who aren’t mobile.

Myth: The food is always terrible in senior communities.

Fact: This is another popular myth that simply isn’t true, especially for assisted living communities. While nursing home residents may have special dietary needs, such as pureed foods, the staff tries to make them both nutritious and delicious.

Assisted living communities often employ chefs to plan menus and supervise cooking. Residents typically have a choice of several menu options at each meal. Because dining rooms are usually restaurant-style, mealtime is often a social affair that residents look forward to each day.

Senior Living Options at Legacy

If you aren’t quite sure what type of care your senior loved one needs, we’ll be happy to help make that determination. With options ranging from independent and assisted living or personal care to memory care and respite, our team knows and understands how to help older adults find the support they need to live their best life. Call us at (423) 478-8071 today!

4 Tips for Making a Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

June 17, 2019

Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

Taking time to prepare for a transition to an assisted living community is vital. These 4 tips will help.

When an older adult is contemplating a move to an assisted living community, they often feel overwhelmed. As do their family members. With so many choices to explore and decisions to make, it’s easy to understand why seniors and their families feel so stressed.

One source of stress often comes from figuring out how to make the process of moving go well. While relocating is tough at any age, for an adult who is giving up their family home, the transition can be emotionally charged.

Here are a few suggestions to make the transition to an assisted living community go a little easier.

4 Tips for Making a Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

Tip #1: Get involved prior to moving.

One step you can take to ensure a smoother transition is to encourage your senior loved one to get involved with the community’s social life before moving day. It’s a great way to meet new neighbors and connect with people who share similar interests.

Another way to get comfortable before moving day is to stop by for a meal or two. Most assisted living communities are happy to have potential residents and their family members enjoy lunch or dinner in the dining room prior to the big day.

Tip #2: Set realistic timelines for moving.

Families often underestimate how much time it takes to downsize and sell a home, even one that isn’t very large. If the senior has lived there for a long time, as many do, it can be physically and emotionally exhausting to clean out their home. Unless this move is the result of an emergency, give yourself time to plan and pack.

Remember, in addition to packing the items that will be going to the assisted living community, you’ll probably need to host an estate sale or garage sale, and arrange to donate unneeded items to charity.

Tip #3: Make the new apartment look familiar.

While it can be tempting to sell or donate the senior’s current belongings and purchase new, it isn’t usually the best way to handle this move. Remember, the senior is relocating to a new environment where they will be surrounded by unfamiliar faces. That can be overwhelming.

Instead, create an environment in their new apartment that looks and feels like “home.” It will likely help your older loved one feel more comfortable and settle in faster.

As you develop a plan for decorating their assisted living apartment, try to include at least a few pieces of their favorite furniture and household belongings. The recliner or love seat they sit on to watch television, bedding from their bedroom, family photos, and familiar wall décor can help the senior feel more at home from the first day they move in.

Tip #4: Understand there will be ups and downs.

As with any major life change, there will be highs and lows during the days leading up to the move and shortly after. This is true not only for the senior, but for family members as well. Your role will likely revert back from hands-on caregiver to spouse or adult child.

For many people, that change can be an adjustment. Give yourself permission to feel down while also making a commitment to accept and embrace the new opportunities this move presents.

If you have questions about assisted living or need more advice for making a smooth transition, we’ll be happy to help. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you for advice!