Helping Elderly Parents Transition into a New Home


Leaving their Home

Transitioning to a new home can be an emotional experience, especially if there is an attachment to the old home. Jeanette Franks, PhD, from A Place for Mom, shares an experience with a friend that found leaving her home emotional. Franks explains to make the transition easier the friend, held a dinner party in her house with family and a few close friends, and then they visited each room by candlelight, remembering special events, commenting on the changes over time, and saying goodbye.

Packing up tends to go more smoothly when children of elderly parents physically help them pack their possessions rather than instructing what can stay and what needs to go from afar.

Packing or Parting with Possessions 

When packing up possessions it can be better to err on the side of holding on to things. Sometimes people need more time with some possessions before they let them go. It is ok to have their new room a bit packed and that often makes it easier to discard things later. Old possessions also help make a new place feel more familiar which eases the transition.

Get to Know Important Staff

Often, what’s your job, what’s their job, and what’s somewhere in between is unclear. You and your parent may have carefully reviewed a lengthy contractual document full of legalese, yet are uncertain as to the difference between a nurse, an aide, and a resident assistant, for example. “ Jeanette Franks, PhD

To simplify matters, it is important to figure out whom your main point of contact will be when there are issues or information that needs to be passed along. Often this is a general manager or other top administrator. It is also important that that contact knows whom the main advocate for your elderly parent is. Keeping these roles clear will make communication stronger and easier.

What is Your Role in Assisted Living?

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