An assisted living move can be traumatic, a jarring change that isn’t always welcome. This is likely an outcome of both a perceived and actual loss of independence that many seniors struggle deeply with after the transition; not surprisingly, it can lead to depression, isolation, and poor health.
If you are concerned about a relative or friend staying active and healthy in assisted living, consider these ideas for improving and maintaining your own health and well-being along with theirs:
- Take a walk. Don’t let weather interfere; if you can’t walk outside, walk up and down and through the halls of the community. Get up and move.
- Find things to do that promote social interaction and personal enrichment. Check out the activities calendar for events and programs of interest. Participate together when you come for a visit.
- Meet people in the dining room. Maybe your father prefers to read books alone in his apartment. Perhaps your grandmother would rather not play Bingo every Tuesday afternoon. That’s OK, as long as they take advantage of opportunities to socialize and connect with their peers at meal time. Enjoy a meal together during one of your visits and encourage these interactions.
- Make sure there are healthy food options. If the menu is lacking in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other good-for-you foods, speak up, or if there is a place for safe food storage in Mom’s apartment, bring some fresh items with you when you visit (either for snacks in-between — or to supplement — community meals).