10 Tips to Help Your Parents Feel at Home in Assisted Living

Feeling at home. This sentiment is essential no matter where we might live. If your parents are moving into an assisted living community to receive a helping hand and achieve a higher quality of life, it’s important that they experience this familiar sense of belonging.  

The act of moving can be stressful. It may follow feelings of anxiety about not being able to keep up with home maintenance or worrying about what to do if illness or injury were to occur. It can also be emotional. Your parents may be leaving the home where they raised their children and made milestone memories. Or they might be looking forward to having assistance without relying solely on family and friends.  

10 Tips to Feel at Home When Moving Into an Assisted Living Community 

A great activity before the move-in date is to brainstorm ways that will help the new surroundings feel at home. The following suggestions and simple steps for both before and after the move can help your parents begin to feel as if they are truly at home in assisted living. 

Feeling at Home in Assisted Living: Phase One – Preparing for the Move 

1. Request a copy of the floor plan 

Make sure you have a copy of the chosen floor plan so you can better help them understand the layout, plan for what furniture they might bring and consider possible arrangements.   

2. Discuss what means home to them 

If your parents have a favorite reading chair or are only comfortable in their own bed, consider if these furniture pieces can make the move with them. Bringing a few favorite items can greatly help them feel at home quickly. 

3. Remember to leave the clutter behind 

Although it can be tempting to bring more than is needed, this is a wonderful time to create a fresh start and sort through the essentials and beloved objects. Make decisions about how to take care of the rest, including what to give to family members or friends, sell or donate.  

4. Go shopping for new furniture 

It can also be exciting to launch this lifestyle change with something new. Furniture that serves multiple purposes is great when moving into a smaller space, such as a table that can also function as a desk or an ottoman that provides storage.  

5. Plan a decorating scheme and how best to achieve the results 

Talk with your parents about what would help them feel at home in the assisted living neighborhood. Focus on expressing their personalities and making it comfortable. This could include favorite colors, accessories such as framed photographs or a treasured throw blanket to create a cozy environment.  

Feeling at Home in Assisted Living: Phase Two – Move-In Day 

6. Consider having everything in place when they arrive 

Talk to your parents first—it’s never a good idea to blindside them—but ask about moving everything over so it is ready when they arrive. It can minimize some of the stress. However, remember that they might enjoy deciding on where to hang the pictures or placement of other personal items. 

7. Help introduce them to their new neighbors 

A great way to begin feeling at home in an assisted living community is by meeting the neighbors. If you sense your parents are feeling hesitant now that the reality of moving is apparent, offer to introduce them to the residents you meet in the hallway or in the lobby. 

8. Arrange to join them for the first night’s dinner 

Depending on the personality of your parents, they might appreciate your staying and sharing the first meal in the new community. You might be able to help break the ice with the other residents at your table or introduce them to staff. Some parents are ready to begin their new life but others appreciate the company. 

9. Take a stroll around the community to familiarize the new settings 

Visiting the community several times before moving in can help your parents become familiar with their new home in assisted living. After they are settled, you might want to offer to walk around the community with them. This can help them become better oriented as well as provide the opportunity to cross paths with a few residents. 

10. Provide reassurance that this was a good decision  

There are so many benefits waiting for your parents in assisted living. However, with the busyness of choosing a community, packing and moving in, a few may have slipped their memory.  

It’s a great idea to re-state all the advantages. An effective way to reinforce the decision they made is to match the community’s benefits to any concerns they had or help that was needed. It’s also helpful to remind them that it does take time to become comfortable but there is great support available—all they have to do is ask. 

Assisted Living at Presbyterian Village North

At Presbyterian Village North, we are here whenever a helping hand is needed. Offering spacious studio, one- and two-bedroom residences, our residents personalize their choice to create the homes where they will live their highest quality of life.

Imagine a new life that includes a well-stocked library, a private dining room available for family celebrations and endless opportunities to make new friends and memories—all with the reassurance of living in a gated community with around-the-clock security.

We also provide the following services:

  • Licensed nursing staff onsite 24/7
  • Medication management administered by certified medication aides
  • Assistance with activities of daily living
  • Chef-prepared cuisine—meals per day with varied, all-day dining options
  • Dedicated Assisted Living Concierge
  • Special activities and social programs
  • Access to a full continuum of care
  • Expanded gym and aquatic center
  • Music and art programming
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy
  • Convenient access to mobile healthcare services onsite including dental, podiatry, optometry, audiology, mobile x-ray and lab, and dietician
  • Full onsite pharmacy
  • And so much more!

Presbyterian Village North supports our residents to remain as independent as possible while living an enriched life. Please call 214-355-9015 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personal visit to our community.