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‘Navigating the emotional journey of elder placement,’ a new report from the San Luis Obispo assisted living advisors 

assisted living San Luis Obispo

Elder Placement Professionals, the San Luis Obispo-based assisted living service, recently released the report, “Navigating the emotional journey of elder placement.” The report examines the emotional challenges faced by the elderly and their families and offers suggestions for smoothing the transition to a new home.

The decision to move to assisted living can be emotionally challenging for both elders and their families. Family members can feel guilty about separating a loved elder from a lifetime of memories and friends. The elder can feel guilty about the possibility of being a burden. So many emotions can be surfacing at the same time, leading to confusion, resentment, fear, and exhaustion. The fears, concerns, and emotions can include:

  • Fear of losing independence and fearing the unknown. The fear of losing one’s independence can be frightening and can contribute to resisting the move. Leaving familiar surroundings and possessions behind contributes to anxiety. The fear of being alone in a new environment can cause depression. Family members may wonder if mom or dad is going to be properly cared for.
  • Sadness about leaving a lifetime of familiar surroundings filled with memories, friends, and activities can be depressing. Even when the elder person has been an active participant in choosing a new place to live, there is still the anxiety of adjusting to a new community. Building new relationships can be challenging for older people.
  • Declining health is an important factor for moving to a facility where the necessary assistance and medical care are easily available. At the same time, instead of feeling safer, an elder might feel resentful and fearful. The family is certainly concerned that their loved one will receive proper care.
  • Financial concerns are stressful. The family wants to be sure the care is affordable and the care received is of the best quality.

The San Luis Obispo assisted living advisors at Elder Placement professionals, are well aware of the emotional journey elders and their families face. Along with helping identify the best-assisted living situation, the team has many other resources that are available to help make the transition easier.

Based on years of experience, Elder Placement Professionals advisors have found that the following tips are beneficial to help smooth fear, resistance, and other emotions that come with transitioning to a new living situation:

  • Involve the elders in the decision-making. Even when it’s the elder’s idea, they still need to take as active a role as possible. Make a list of things that will be important to them in their new home. The list might include things like keeping a pet, having private time for hobbies, specific social activities, physical activities such as exercise, gardening, walking, group outings for lunch, shopping, or entertainment.
  • Be sure all of their health care concerns are on the list. When visiting facilities, discuss the health concerns with the staff, being sure that the elder is involved in the conversation.
  • Be transparent about the financial aspects of assisted living and work together to create a budget. Seek financial advice if needed.
  • Once a decision is reached, be part of the moving and settling-in process. Help with packing and choosing familiar possessions to take with them. Having favorite, familiar items around is comforting and creates a sense of being at home. Make frequent visits to help mom or dad settle in, meet the other guests, and participate in their new community. Listen to their concerns and help them learn to navigate the new way of getting things done.
  • Consider involving professionals, such as geriatric care managers, counselors, or social workers, to provide additional support and guidance during and after the transition.

Elder Placement Professionals is a San Luis Obispo-based assisted living service that provides nationwide services. “Our goal is to help make the transition as smooth as possible,” said owner Nicole Pazdan.

In addition to providing referrals to facilities that meet their client’s needs, Elder Placement Professionals has an extensive referral program for connecting clients with movers, financial planners, professional downsizers, and local support groups.

The experienced advisors help seniors and their families find the best resolution and care setting, including:

  • Home care
  • Retirement communities
  • Residential care homes
  • Facilities for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s care
  • Where pets are accepted

Elder Placement Professionals is compensated by their assisted living communities and their services are free to their clients.

Elder Placement Professionals
1119 Palm St.
San Luis Obispo CA 93401
(805) 546-8777

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About the author: Access Publishing

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Paso Robles Daily News on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.