We are getting ready to move my mother into an assisted living community, and she’s very apprehensive. She doesn’t like change anyway, and even though we toured the community, she’s not sure what life will be like once she moves in. Can you give us an idea?
What to Expect in Assisted Living
It’s very normal for older adults to be wary about changes in their life. The staff of most assisted living communities know this and are prepared to make new residents feel welcome.
First, let me reassure you that your mother will be able to bring her treasured furnishings, decorations, photos, and mementos to her new apartment.
Even before she moves in, your mother, you and any other interested family members will meet with staff to develop a care plan based on her doctor’s recommendations and your family’s wants and needs. If your mother needs to be reminded when to take her medications, a trained staff member will do so. Because MacIntosh communities also offer skilled nursing, unlike most assisted living communities, if your mother needs to be given medication, our nurses can provide that help.
Your mother’s care plan can be adjusted in real time. If she has problems with mobility during the winter, we can provide extra help. Again, because we also offer skilled nursing, we can provide additional services other assisted living communities cannot. For example, if your mother comes down with the flu and needs skilled nursing on a temporary basis, we can provide it.
You and your mother will be invited to attend classes and activities so both of you will become more familiar with the people and the physical layout of the community.
Welcome to Assisted Living
Once your mother moves in, she will be greeted by staff members, as well as residents who have volunteered to welcome new residents. They will answer her questions, and our staff or resident volunteers will also accompany your mother to meals so she doesn’t become confused in a strange place.
Maintenance staff are available to hang pictures and paintings and explain the emergency response system. Housekeeping will stop by to ask when your mother would like them to clean her room, change her beds, and take her laundry.
Our activities director will stop by within the first few days to invite her to attend fitness classes, crafts, and entertainment. Your mother may attend as many or as few activities as she’d like and may change her mind at any time. If she tends to forget when classes take place, she can request that someone stop by or phone her to remind her.
If, however, your mother is feeling overwhelmed, we can take it more slowly until she becomes acclimated. You can make decisions without the need for staff to stop by, although they all enjoy meeting new residents. At MacIntosh, we are responsive to the needs of your senior parent and the family.
Loneliness after Moving
Moving to a new home is a big change for anyone, and it’s only natural your mother may feel a little lonely or out of sorts her first few weeks. She may call you more frequently than usual. She may complain that the eggs aren’t cooked the same way she likes them.
It may take a few days until we learn her likes and dislikes—preferences such as how she prefers her eggs or whether she likes to wake up early. Be assured that all staff members will address your mother in the way she prefers, either as Mrs. Smith or Sarah.
Soon, your mother will be telling you about the nice lady down the hall who moved here from Quebec or how she won at bingo the other day. And in a surprisingly short time, you may become concerned when she isn’t home for your call, because she’s taken a trip to a nearby attraction or she’s playing cards with her neighbors and isn’t at home at her usual time.
Experts in Making Residents Feel at Home
We’re experts in making people feel at home. Before you know it, she will become part of our family, and our staff will care for her as such. Unlike a traditional business, our staff members truly care for and love residents.
The MacIntosh difference is that our goal is to provide personalized, uncompromised healthcare that exceeds expectations. Our entire business model is based on encouraging a loving, caring, and supportive environment for your parent and your entire family.
MacIntosh assisted living residences are located at Canal Winchester, Mill Run, New Albany, Pickaway and Whetstone communities. I hope I’ve been able to answer your questions. If you need more information, please call (614) 345-9500 or email us online.
Jennifer Adams, RN, WCC
Director of Nursing Services