“Change is the only constant in life.”

You’ve probably heard some variation of this old adage, and while it may sound cliché – it’s an important lesson to remember. Life is full of transitions, some easy and some difficult. The transition to senior living may seem formidable, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right preparation, entering this new stage can be a comfortable and manageable experience for both seniors and their families. These five steps can help simplify the process and provide peace of mind for all involved.

  1. This first step can begin long before the transition is underway. As we age, we accumulate belongings, many of which hold sentimental significance. Nevertheless, having too many can way us down and complicate the move to a new home. Children of seniors can help put downsizing in motion by offering to help organize garage sales or donations. In some cases, a senior move manager can be hired to help guide the process.
  2. Form a plan. It’s important for families to devise a game plan before embarking on this journey. Some may think this goes without saying but getting on the same page is critical for a smooth transition. It’s not an easy conversation to have, but it can be one of the most important in a loved one’s life. This is especially important if the children of a senior have decided this transition is for the best but have not yet broached the subject. Infighting is counterproductive and may delay or complicate this important next step.
  3. Decide on the level of care. There are a lot of options when it comes to senior care, from independent and assisted living to nursing homes or even home care. Each option has its pros and cons and every senior is different, so it’s important to make sure a senior moves into a facility that’s best suited to their needs.
  4. Take a tour. Promotional materials and websites can help familiarize you with the services and amenities a facility might offer, but taking a tour is the only way to truly determine if it’s the right fit. Children of seniors are advised to accompany their parents on these tours and devise a list of questions to ask ahead of time so they can ensure the level of care will be satisfactory.
  5. Stay involved. Some seniors may tend to isolate in a new situation, so their loved ones can be an invaluable resource to help them acclimate to their new surroundings. Family members should learn about the activities available and try to get their parent or loved one involved. Establishing a comfortable routine can help ease the process.

Major life transitions can be a challenge, but the transition to senior care can be one of the most comforting and rewarding changes a person can experience.