Some seniors in assisted living facilities in Sacramento, CA, may not be prepared to adjust to their new home. All the changes can be worrisome and make it difficult to adjust. Several fears typically come up during the transition. Here are some of them and tips to put them to rest.
1.) Fears of Leaving Their Old Friends Behind
The fear might be that their new friends won’t be as good as their old ones. Their biggest worry might be losing their close relationships and ending up alone. They see friends or family members who have moved into the community and rarely visit or make outside contact. This is a totally understandable fear, but it doesn’t have to be one.
- Help your loved one know that many seniors are just as active and vibrant as ever, even in their senior living community setting.
- You should encourage them to find new hobbies and interests by joining their current community activities. They could also get involved in new things, like art classes or a book club.
2.) Fear of Not Doing the Right Thing
This fear is usually brought on by uncertainty of what to do or not doing what they think their new community expects of them. This is a common fear for someone who’s used to being on their own. Their biggest fear may be that they will seem like an inconvenience to their new community.
- Your loved one will adjust better if you help them find their place in the community. If there are things that need to be managed, offer to do some or all of the work for them; or ask residents if they could handle it. This gives your loved one a sense that they are still capable of doing some tasks themselves and aren’t being a burden on others.
3.) Fear of Moving Out of Their Home
Many seniors are willing to move into a senior assisted living community but may not want to give up their homes. They fear the disruption that moving may cause or are worried about the financial aspect. You could help your loved one by assuring them they can live in their existing home for a while longer during the transition.
- Encourage your loved one to get along well with other residents and visitors. This will make the adjustment easier for both you and them.
4.) Fear of Being Over or Under Medicated
This is a common fear for seniors when they move into assisted living facilities in Sacramento, CA, even if they’re on medication. They are afraid of becoming overmedicated and losing control. Many seniors find it very difficult to adapt to new medications, especially if they are on several different kinds. They need to know that their medication schedule will be reviewed by the staff and adjusted as necessary for their well-being.
- Assure your loved one that the staff will notify you if they are taking too many or too few medications.
5.) Fear of Not Being Able to Coexist With Other People
If your loved one is living alone and has never lived with other people, they may be apprehensive about having to co-exist amongst strangers. Some residents with dementia may be more sensitive because of confusion and memory loss. They may not know how to relate to others or their expectations. While you can’t force your loved one to socialize, you can encourage them to attend the activities at the senior living community.
- Go out of your way to make your loved one feel part of the community too. This could include introducing them to other residents or inviting them to activities they might be interested in. What your loved one is comfortable with is up to them, but it’s important not to force them into situations they aren’t ready for.
6.) Fear of Getting Lost in a Big Community
This is a common fear of seniors who live alone and are used to living their own lives. If your loved one is worried about getting lost in the crowd, you should reassure them that at least one staff member will always be available or on call.
- For example, if your loved one lives in a home with 2 or 3 other people, he might be worried about getting lost in the crowd. Having a plan in place with the staff and accessible routes is good, so your loved one doesn’t have to worry about getting lost or wandering off.
7.) Fear of Being All Alone in the World
This is a common fear of seniors who live alone. They are afraid they will finally be alone, having outlived all their friends, family members, and other loved ones. Of course, most seniors live with family members or friends in their homes, so this is not too likely to happen. But, if it does, you can help your loved one see that being alone is not always bad.
- If your loved one is afraid of being alone, you might want to invite other people over to their home for dinner or join your loved one at their favorite restaurant or coffee shop (as long as it is an enjoyable activity for them).
8.) Fear of Being Neglected
Most seniors are used to having other people in their lives who care for them physically and emotionally. In some cases, all their needs are taken care of, but in most cases, this isn’t what happens.
- If your loved one is used to having a lot of attention and help 24 hours a day, you will need to determine where the boundaries are with the staff in the community. You may need to consider who can give medicine and make appointments for your loved one and what areas are okay for them to take over if they want to help.
Ease the Transition
No matter how realistic or unrealistic those fears may be, you should do all we can to help our loved ones move into assisted living facilities in Sacramento, CA. Think about the benefits they will enjoy while there and the peace of mind they will gain as they begin their new life.