Transitioning a loved one into a senior living community can be an exciting time. It can also be a very busy and even confusing time as you and your loved one become familiar with their new home and a new routine. The best way to ease the change is to have open lines of communication with the community’s staff and residents.
Getting to Know You…
“Getting to know all about you...” They’re lines from an old song, but they’re a good reminder that the first step in good communication is getting to know someone. At your loved one’s senior living community, there are some key people that you definitely want to get to know. These key individuals will vary by community, but they will often include the administrator, social workers, day-to-day nursing staff and other caregivers, such as physical or speech therapists.
Take time to understand their roles and how they will interact with your loved one.
It’s not just a matter of you knowing them. It’s also important that they know who you are, your relationship to your loved one, and specific needs that you or your loved one have. Don’t hesitate to make those needs known as they come up. If the staff isn’t aware of something, they can’t help. This is especially important during the early transition stage as your loved one is getting settled in.
As time goes on, it can also be very helpful for you to get to know other residents and service providers such as the dining staff, transportation drivers, even groundskeepers.
As your loved one is getting settled in and you’re getting to know the staff, don’t hesitate to ask questions, questions, and more questions. The professionals you’ll be dealing with actually appreciate the opportunity to inform family and friends about how things work and how they can help make the transition to senior living smooth and enjoyable. It’s common for some questions to come to mind when you’re back home. Be sure to make lists of these questions so you have them ready during your next visit. Or, feel welcome to call the community at any time.