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Two Ways To Make Your Loved One Feel More At Home In A Retirement Community

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The golden years are a time to sit back, relax and enjoy life. For many, this isn't just a time to stop working -- it's also often a time to consider downsizing and moving into a retirement community. While retirement living communities have come a long way in terms of amenities, privacy and comfort, for some people, retirement communities still fall short of feeling like home. As their loved one, you can help them overcome this dilemma.

Drop in and Visit

Keep up any existing visiting pattern once your loved one moves to a retirement community. For instance, if your loved one hosted birthday celebrations for their grandchildren at their home, continue this. Bring the party to the retirement community. This consistency allows your loved one to feel more at home and relaxed. However, as with all things, there can be too much of a good thing. Make certain you aren't being bothersome with your visits.

The whole idea is to keep up existing patterns. Don't visit more frequently than you did when they were living independently. When your loved one feels smothered, they may also feel like they aren't being treated as an independent adult. Consider how you would feel if you felt more like you were in a fishbowl than your own, private home. The more independent they feel, the more at home they will feel.

Something Old, Something New…

While moving into a retirement community isn't the same as getting married, it's a good idea to remember the something old, something new tradition. Oftentimes, retirement communities are pre-furnished. Make your loved one feel more at home by incorporating something from their old home into their new home. Whether it's a corner curio that holds family heirlooms or a family portrait, adding these items in their new space adds a sense of familiarity and can make them feel more at home.

If your loved one is moving into a community that is not pre-furnished, following this tip is especially easy. It might also be a good idea to bring in elements from other family member's homes as well. For example, a grandparent might enjoy having pieces from their children or grandchildren. Having familiar and comfortable pieces in your loved one's new space will also make them feel more at home.

Exercising patience is important. Moving into a retirement community is a process that will take everyone time to adjust to. Be patient and before long, you're loved one will feel right at home.