Moving into Aged Care is a big enough adjustment in one’s life, but can you imagine the thought of having to start again and make new friendships? This is the reality that our parents face when moving into Aged Care. Despite the challenges, making new friends and maintaining relationships is essential for our health and emotional well-being. We share some ideas on making that transition easier, and tips to prepare ahead.
- Become familiar with the facility beforehand. Consider visiting an Aged Care facility and joining the residents for a meal.
- Communicate with relevant staff – for instance Lifestyle Co-ordinators before moving in, and find out about the activities and excursions offered. Discuss any hesitations, fears or concerns before your loved one moves in, and discuss strategies to combat any issues.
- Discuss and talk with family members the transition from your home to the Aged Care Facility, as this will help with the anxiety of the unknown. Talk about the new routines and surroundings.
- Once your loved one has moved to the new Aged Care home, encourage them to join in the activities and make an effort to join in any events provided by the home after hours that include families, such as a wine & cheese night or a fun Elvis Rock and Roll night.
- Continue with your hobbies. For instance, if you enjoyed cross-stitching before or even fishing – it is possible to continue these activities with excursions from the home. This is a great way to forge new friendships by creating memories with your new friends.
It’s important to emphasise you don’t need to, and cannot be friends with everyone when you move into Aged Care. The reality is, that like anywhere, there will already be well-defined social cliques, you just need to navigate these. The first month will be all about adjusting to new routines and getting to know new people. Between 6-12 months your loved one will have adjusted and made new friends, like any change it just takes time.
If you or your loved one would like to take a tour at one of our homes, please contact us here.