The population pyramid is tipping in favor of the section that categorizes senior individuals. The number of Americans that are aged 65 and above is steadily increasing. This number is forecasted to double from 46 million to 98 million in the next 40 years. Subsequently, the percentage share of this population is expected to climb from 15% to 24%.
As the aging population increases, their care also increases. In fact, the number of individuals living in assisted communities is expected to swell as well. As of 2016, one million US seniors were residing in senior living communities. This number is estimated to double by 2030.
At the same time, the number of individuals falling in the age range of 85+ is anticipated to grow by three times too. The figure is expected to snowball from 5.7 million to 14.1 million between 2011 and 2040.
While these are just numbers, the real concern surfaces when the decision of taking care of these senior folks come into the picture. The decision to move to an assisted living facility is essential. Aging influences a person’s cognitive abilities and brings forth physical limitations as well.
An app such as Braintest is helpful in picking out early signs of mild cognitive impairment. But you are still left with the worry concerning the limitations of a person in performing his daily activities. You may extend some help, but the assistance is better at a senior living facility, which is why the decision to move is vital.
Since shifting to an assisted living community is a significant change in your partner’s life, you can help him prepare. Here are five tips for helping your partner shift to an assisted living facility:
1. Prepare well
When the time for assisted living comes, your first step is to prepare yourself as well as your partner. All preparations start with readying yourself mentally. Keep in mind that you have been your partner’s support throughout his life. This responsibility does not end as your better half steps out of your house.
Once you gear yourself up, you can help your partner prepare. Gather all the crucial personal information such as legal and financial records so that you have all the information at your disposal. Help your partner pack as well.
Moreover, go over the layout of the retirement community’s campus. If possible also go through the campus’s rules with your partner and pay a visit before your partner shifts. It will help him/her get familiar with the place.
2. Plan your relationship in advance
In the preparation hustle, discussing how the relationship will advance slips to the background. It is all-important for you to take out the time to sit with your partner and discuss how your relationship will blossom after your better half moves.
Before your partner shifts to the facility, map out how you intend to maintain your marital bond. Make sure that the decided facility supports couple time. Additionally, before your partner shifts to the facility, discuss and decide about visiting him on a regular basis.
Select the activities that you would continue doing together such as watching television, playing cards, gardening, and so on. As you craft your meeting plans, have honest discussions with your loved one. Ask questions to dig about any fears or concerns bothering your partner.
3.Remind your partner that it the best way for maintaining his independence
A common reason for repelling the move to assisted living is the feeling that you are no longer independent. Your partner might harbor such feelings too. Counterintuitive to what may appear; however, assisted living is a formidable option for maintaining a person’s independence.
As individuals, our primary goal is to maintain this independence. Therefore, retirement communities are good. Try to tell this to your loved one. The option will allow your partner to seek the least possible help with his daily activities.
Try to approach all the matters with respect and dignity and let your partner be the chief decision maker during this sensitive time. Also, involve your partner in the research work of selecting the senior living home.
4. Personalize the matter
Another significant tip to help your partner prepare for assisted living is to personalize the transition. Let your partner take what he likes. Besides, let him reminisce while packing. It is a great way to cope with the change.
Shifting becomes easier if you make the moving process as homely as possible. For instance, redecorate your partner’s room in the new place to make it similar to his old bedroom. Add lamps, pictures, or candles that facilitate a home-like feel.
Over and above, make your partner’s shifting a family affair. Instead of hiring movers, ask for help from family and friends. It must be an emotionally overwhelming time for your partner. Therefore, encourage your family and friends to visit him often, both pre and post his shifting.
5. Give space and encourage your partner to craft a social life
It is quite possible for your partner to feel intimidated or uncertain about his new surroundings. The assisted living facility may not feel like home. Additionally, adjusting to the new environment can be onerous.
Under such circumstances, encourage your loved one to make new friends in the senior living community. Remind your partner to be open-minded. As you discuss all these concerns, try to give some space to your better half too.
Moving to a senior home is a significant transition in your partner’s life. Hence, it is critical to give him some space to adjust to the new lifestyle. Lastly, expect the unexpected. In this regard, Mary Koffend, president of Accountable Aging Care Management, says, “Don’t assume that this transition ends once the initial decision and move are over.” Be ready for dealing with any sorrow or frustration on the part of your partner.
Wrap up thoughts
Shifting to assisted living is a tough time in your partner’s life, as it entails substantial change. Your partner might feel that he is losing his independence, which makes the transition difficult. It is essential for you to stand by your loved one’s side and help him prepare. Remind him that senior living offers a better opportunity for him to remain independent.
For example, some of these places offer services like daily social activities, an on-site salon and fitness center, and more. Help your partner pack and make the entire process as homely as possible. Discuss all matters including your relationship with your partner beforehand.