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Making the Move to Assisted Living

By Jackie Westhoff

It was time to convince Mary, my mother-in-law, about the benefits of moving to an assisted living facility.  In the first few conversations, there was hesitation in her voice.  She questioned why she would want to move out of her home, how she could afford to move, and what would she do with all of her stuff?  These were all valid questions which we had to answer for her.

We all knew the move would be traumatic.  If you have moved recently you know the overwhelming feeling that comes with change.  Mary had been living in this house for over 60 years.  This is where she raised her kids, celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and welcomed new grandchildren.  This was more than a house, it was a home.  We now needed to help Mary discover a new home. The question was how?

Mary was on a waiting list for an apartment at the local assisted living facility.  It was shortly after we determined her safety at home was becoming questionable that we got the call.  The time had come.  We needed to encourage Mary to accept the opening and begin a new chapter in her life.

My sisters-in-law were instrumental in building Mary’s excitement for her new home.  They took her shopping in order to personalize her new place.  They shopped for smaller furniture, new bedding, and new shower curtain with matching towels.  This was a successful technique for our family.  Mary loved her new apartment which was comfortable and beautiful.

The move was made easier for Mary by making it an adventure.  She was excited to make the apartment her own.  Mary now saw the move as a good step for her.  No longer did she have to take care of her large home and lawn.  The family felt relief knowing that mom was in a safe, secure environment which alleviated many worries.  It was a win-win situation.

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