Tips to Help Seniors Thrive During Their Transition to Assisted Living – Guest Post Sharon Wagner


Sharon Wagner
(Guest Post)
Moving to an assisted-living campus does not have to feel like walking into a foreign land. Change is not always easy. At no other time in life is this as blazingly true as in our senior years when we have to make a decision about where to live. Mobility issues, financial struggles, and living too far away from loved ones can compound to the point where it is no longer safe for us to stay in our own home. When this happens, you have a choice: go into assisted living feeling like it means defeat or have a positive attitude and make the most of your situation.

Here are a few things you can do to make your new community feel like home.

Stay Positive
While it might sound cliché, having a positive attitude really can change the way you feel about a situation that you may not want to be in. Instead of thinking about your move as a negative event, view it as a new chapter, one that will be filled with new friends and experiences.

Relish the Moment
Speaking of experiences, virtually all assisted-living communities offer a host of activities and events that you may not have had an opportunity to participate in if you had remained isolated at home. You’ll probably have access to everything from arts and crafts to poker nights and planned museum visits, which can work together to keep your mind and body happy and healthy. A Place for Mom explains that each facility is different and that in Naples, you can expect to pay a monthly rent of anywhere from $1,500 to $7,604, but this will include all of your activities, accommodations, and meals.

Make It Feel Like Home
One common misconception about assisted living is that you will be stuck in a clinical setting. Nothing could be further from the truth, and you can bring many of your cherished personal belongings with you. While you won’t be able to pack everything into a studio or one-bedroom apartment, your living room furniture or favorite figurine collection can help you stay connected to your past while transitioning into your future. Keep your family photographs with you, as pictures can stimulate memories, which is important if you have or are at risk for dementia.

The best part about assisted living isn’t the activities, the food, or the structured environment —  it is the new friends you will make. You will have access to an instant peer group with people from different backgrounds and experiences. Many of these individuals were also nervous or apprehensive at first and can share how they learned not only to accept their new environment but to embrace it. Something you will likely hear time and again is that having a social network helped alleviate feelings of depression and improved their physical health. If nothing else, an afternoon playing Spades with a group of friends beats watching reruns by yourself any day!

It is not always easy to accept change, especially when that change means admitting that you are no longer able to live by yourself. However, if you are open-minded and go into it with a positive attitude and the knowledge of everything that you will gain, you will find that you will not only survive but thrive in your new environment. Accepting that it’s time for some assistance does not mean that you have been defeated. Assisted living is simply a tool you can use to beat back the effects of age and learn to enjoy life as it should be enjoyed.

You can learn more about Sharon Wagner at