Making the aged care move easier for your loved one

Moving is stressful, at any age. Exchanging the familiarity of the old with the shock of the new can be even worse for our seniors, especially if there are medical issues to contend with as well. But there are things we can all do to make the transition easier.

Here are a few tips for moving a family member into Glenvale Villas with the least stress possible:

Short visits prior to moving in. If you have the time, a few relaxed visits to our community will help make it a more familiar environment. Spare the time to chat to a couple of people, but don’t overdo it. Too many faces is confusing and confronting. We also offer a “try before you buy” stay at Glenvale, which means you can see if it is the right fit for you or your loved one.

Speak at length about the community with your family. Talk about what you have seen, experienced and read in simple and real terms. Positive statements about commonplace items like “they served us some lovely tea”, or “that view was breathtaking”, or “it has such lovely comfortable chairs” give everyone something positive to dwell on.

Select some sentimental items, and talk about where they should go in the new home. One of the great things about Glenvale Villas Supported Living is our independent homes. They are your own home to decorate as you wish with your own furnishings. If some furnishings cannot make the move, try not to let your parent or loved one dwell on the feeling of loss. Take photographs of their home and make an album so they can still have all the memories in detail. Go crazy with that camera!

Stay with them on their first day. Help them unpack but try to act as an aid, not do it for them. It is important for people to maintain a sense of control.

Draw up a schedule or calendar of when family or friends are visiting, so they have something concrete to look at and remind them that they are not isolated.

Introduce them to their neighbours and find things in common. The old adage of ‘strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet’ always rings true. Building friendships quickly will help the settling in period. No doubt the new neighbours have been through it themselves and can lend a hand, even if it’s just a quiet corner and a cup of tea. We pride ourselves on strong community bonds here. We are all friends.

Remember to be patient. Adding your own stress and emotion into the mix will not help your parent or loved one. It is an emotional time for seniors, and they tend to rely on the strength of their family to see them through. Keep reminding yourself that the goal is for a comfortable transition, as stress free as possible.

Of course Glenvale staff will always be on hand to help smooth any transition fears. We have helped over a hundred residents move into Glenvale Villas.