How to Help Your Senior Parent Achieve Independent Living
Seeing your senior parents reach an age where they require a little extra help can be emotional for everyone – yourself and your parents included! This in combination with the decision to move them towards an independent living facility can cause unnecessary hassle and stress for all parties involved, when it should be avoided. We’ve listed some advice to help you assist your senior parents to achieve independent living and to continue living a happy life.
Understand Their Emotions
Whilst you aren’t living through the emotions that they are experiencing, you should make it clear that you understand and empathize with their feelings. Your mother or father may feel angry at the decision to move to an independent living facility, as they have preconceived ideas that they are going to lose their freedom and independence. However, you should remind them that independent living is exactly what the name suggests, and the new home will provide them with new opportunities to meet new people in the community. St Anne’s Retirement Community offers modern independent living apartments within their campus, which ensures that residents can still socialize and see like-minded people but are supported when it matters.
Help Them Settle
When helping them pack up their old house and move into their new home, you should try to keep as many of their cherished items as possible, so that the new home still has a sense of familiarity. For their first few meals in their new place, you could eat together so that they feel comfortable in their new setting by performing routines with a familiar face. Help them to get into a new routine, so that they are well-adjusted to do this by themselves.
Know When To Step Back
There is only so much you can do before you need to let your parents get on with their life, just as they did before outside of their independent living space. Whilst you need to regularly visit and keep in contact with them, you don’t need to hover by their side every day. After all, they did raise you and not the other way around! You should give them the space and room to mingle with other residents and staff so that they can start to build up a new life in their new home. Connecting with other people in the independent living community is vital for the first few weeks, in order to build up a network of friends. Give them the space that they need to do this. You can remind them that you’re at the end of the phone if they need you!
Independent living will allow your senior parent to grow old gracefully and with dignity. You can sleep soundly knowing that they are in the best place for them to thrive and to receive support should they need it, allowing you to enjoy the time that you spend with them instead of checking up to see if they’re healthy and safe as you might have done in the past before they moved to independent living facilities.