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Tips for Easing the Transition Into Assisted Living

Surround your loved one with familiarity.

Set up the living space and bedroom as much like home as possible, focusing on those things that are used every day. A favorite chair, pictures, a collection or a desk from home all make living in a smaller space feel familiar and like a safe harbor.

Visit during social events.

One of the most difficult parts of adjusting can be establishing new friendships. Just having a loved one at your side during dinner or another gathering in the community can open doors to conversation and foster socialization.

Check in often.

Texting or calling daily can ease the transition and remind loved ones that you have not forgotten them. Visits in person are wonderful, and don’t need to be long to bring joy.

Don’t be shocked by the high level of care your family member may need.

Often, because we are not living full time with someone, it is easy to assume they are doing everything on their own. When they move into an environment that is designed for support, you may find out that there are several things that they are not able to do on their own, such as manage medications, monitor urinary incontinence, bathe safely, do household chores, or they may even have trouble walking to meals and activities because of mobility challenges. The first few months give staff a chance to get to know your loved one and give them the support they need to remain as independent as possible. You may even find that after time, and getting to know their new environment, they are thriving with less assistance.

Give it time.

Feeling at home will take between 3-6 months for most people, so be patient with the time it takes to feel at home. Once a level of comfort and familiarity with neighbors, staff and their new environment are achieved, they can truly begin to flourish.

Trust your instincts and communicate well.

Whatever the experts tell you, you know your loved one best, and are the best person to speak up when something is not right. Talk frequently with staff, not just when something is wrong, but also to express gratitude for what is right. Strong advocacy requires speaking on behalf or in support of your loved one when they may not be able to for themselves.

Establish a positive relationship with staff.

Making a move can be stressful for the entire family, especially when accompanied by resistance. The staff has a keen understanding of how to help make the transition better. Talk with the Community Managers for advice or the Wellness Director to figure out ways to integrate your family member into the community.

Tell your loved one’s story.

Make sure the staff knows the background, likes, dislikes, personality, and personal habits of your family member. Any information helps everyone have a better understanding of how to best come alongside.

Be a team player.

The staff is a major part of your team of caregivers, and they count on clear, positive communication from you and your loved one. Work together to help transition through the difficulties. Recruit other family members, and even friends to be a part of the team also. Each person brings a unique perspective and richness to the relationships.

Kindness and gratitude go a long way.

With all humans, kindness and gratitude pave the path for reciprocation. Although everyone is cared for equally and with excellence, a little kindness and gratitude make the transition so much more enjoyable for everyone.

What People Are Saying …

I would like to commend Cristwood Park staff on their efforts to protect themselves and their residents from COVID. It’s been a concern of ours since last March and we have been relieved to see so few cases in the Cristwood Park community. I would like to thank the staff and leadership for their diligence in maintaining good protocols throughout this pandemic.

CWP Family Member

CRISTA has been a warm, friendly atmosphere to be a part of these past two years. It encourages friendships that encourage a pleasant living environment.

Marty Victor, CWP

Exceptional personalized holistic care. Helps keep Mom’s mind active and she flourishes with the nurturing care. Especially of value currently given the COVID restrictions. We are genuinely pleased with our mom's care.

Resident's Daughter, Memory Care

Thinking back on all the great care you and your team have given her at CRISTA, we thank you for all that. I am sure it made a difference in the quality of her life.

I appreciate the personal relationship I have with the staff and the good communication they give me.

I am so stunned by all the amazing people who live at CRISTA. The depth of their stories, their experiences are so powerful. They are fascinating and I learn something new every day! Such a wealth of intellect, experiences, and fun loving people. I love living here.

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