Adjusting to a “New Normal” – When a Parent Transitions to Senior Living

Published On: November 2, 2023

The transition of a parent to a senior living community can be a challenging process, especially for adult children who previously served as caregivers. Adjusting to your new role in their life may not happen overnight, and this transition often comes with a myriad of emotions and uncertainties. Despite carefully selecting a senior living community, it can still be difficult to relax and trust that you’ve made the right decision; however, it’s essential to remember that your parent still needs you to play an active part in their life. While your role may differ from when you were their primary caregiver, it remains crucial. In this blog, we’ll explore some ways you can stay involved and connected with your parent after they settle into their new home.

Restoring the Parent-Child Relationship: Moving to a senior living community often restores the parent-child relationship. Instead of being their caregiver, you can now simply enjoy quality time together. This shift can help rebuild the emotional connection that might have been strained during the caregiving phase.

Share Meals and Coffee Breaks: Many senior living communities have dining teams that take pride in creating delicious and nutritious meals. You and your parent can relish these meals together in the communal dining room. Additionally, dropping by for a morning coffee and a pastry can be a wonderful way to bond and enjoy each other’s company.

Participate in Community Activities: Senior living communities encourage family members to participate in activities and special events. These events can be a fantastic way to engage with your parent and make new memories together. Look for monthly family nights or check with the community leader for a calendar of activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Volunteer Your Time and Talent: If your schedule allows, consider volunteering at the community. Volunteers play a significant role in the daily life of senior living communities. You can contribute by teaching workshops or accompanying residents on community outings. This involvement not only benefits your parent but also the broader community.

Communicate Regularly with the Care Team: Contrary to what you might think, moving your parent to a senior living community doesn’t mean your involvement in their care ends. No one understands your parent better than you do. Regular meetings with the community leaders will allow you to stay informed about your loved one’s care and provide valuable insights and input.

Build Relationships with Team Members: Take the time to get to know the team responsible for caring for your parent. Establish open lines of communication and make sure they have your contact information, ensuring they can reach you around the clock. Building strong relationships with the care team will help you stay connected and give you confidence that your parent’s well-being is a top priority.

Conclusion: The transition to senior living can be emotionally challenging, but it also offers an opportunity to reconnect with your parent and engage in new and different ways. By sharing meals, participating in community activities, volunteering your time, attending care team meetings, and building relationships with the community staff, you can maintain a vital role in your parent’s life and ensure they continue to receive the care and support they need. Remember, your presence and involvement are invaluable in enriching your parent’s experience in their new home.

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