7 Ways to Make Assisted Living Feel Like Home

Posted on: December 10, 2021

Updated on December 9, 2021 

Moving into a new home is usually exciting, but it can sometimes prove emotionally challenging. The process involves abandoning parts of your past—and leaving a place where you made countless memories. Moving to an assisted living community can be exceptionally tricky because it means acknowledging that we’re getting older and that we might require help with certain activities.

Helpful Ways to Transition to Assisted Living

At Otterbein, we’ve seen some new assisted living residents struggle in the early days following their move. However, there are ways to help ease a loved one’s transition to assisted living, and we’ve compiled seven tips that can help make someone’s new place feel like home. 

1. Start By Being Positive

Whenever a friend or family member is transitioning to assisted living, you can make a big difference by demonstrating a positive and supportive attitude throughout the process.
Positive Resident
Something as simple as referring to the person’s new place as “home” can prove uplifting. Whether you’re helping to pack belongings or assisting in the physical move, just being a positive role model during the relocation effort can make the transition easier.

2. Help Choose the Right Layout

Having a floor plan that suits a resident’s personality and needs is critical to ensuring a comfortable move.

For example, a roomy kitchen, open layout, and large gathering areas are perfect for those who enjoy entertaining. Others might place higher priorities on having a master bedroom, multiple bathrooms, or designated parking. Whatever a person’s preferences, the right floor plan is key to feeling satisfied and happy in a new home.

3. Offer Some Storage Space

Moving to an assisted living community can result in having less storage space. Downsizing can be emotional when it requires leaving behind cherished belongings. There might not be room to keep items such as holiday decorations, seasonal clothes, and treasured knick-knacks.

If you have extra space at home, perhaps you could help by offering to store some of your loved one’s possessions. Knowing that favorite objects are secure can make the moving process less unsettling.

4. Bring Items From a Former Home

Decorating and furnishing the new home with familiar things can make for a smoother move-in transition. Beloved artwork, books, awards, and photo albums are items that help quickly turn a space into a home. Bringing a favorite chair or other furniture pieces also helps to create a welcoming household atmosphere.

5. Housewarming Party

Girls having a party

At Otterbein, we encourage families and friends to visit every few days or so during their loved one’s initial adjustment period. Hosting a housewarming party can go a long way toward making someone feel at home in an assisted living environment. 

Surrounded by familiar faces, your loved one will experience comfort and joy while beginning a new chapter in life.

Check out these fun activities to do with your loved one in assisted living >>

6. Set Up Videoconferencing

Videoconferencing apps such as Zoom and FaceTime are excellent ways for assisted living residents to stay in touch with loved ones. The apps provide audio and visual access to family and friends via computer, smartphone, or tablet. Videoconferencing allows you to check in on your loved one when you can’t be there in person.

7. Encourage Participation in Social Activities

Residents at a pianoMoving involves not only changing locations, but it can also mean leaving neighbors and close-knit communities. At Otterbein, we know that social activities serve to add a sense of community to a new home. Engaging in group activities helps a new resident meet other residents, make new friends, and discover all the amenities that Otterbein offers.

Read more about the activities and amenities offered at Otterbein SeniorLife >>

Growing accustomed to a new home takes time. When individuals move to assisted living, there is an understandable adjustment period. With a little planning, you can help your loved one make a smooth transition.

What’s the Difference Between Assisted and Independent Living?

Download our free guide to learn more about the differences between assisted and independent living—and see which is right for you or a loved one. 

IL vs. AL Guide