The process of moving can be stressful and overwhelming mentally, emotionally, and physically – and it’s no exception for seniors moving into a new assisted living. They have lived in a place for years, if not decades, and this is a completely new location. However, with proper planning and preparation, the move can be made easier and stress-free. One way to achieve this is by engaging the aging person in a relaxing activity before moving into a new place so that they are calm and ready to face the move.
Relaxing activities such as meditation, yoga, gentle massage, or reading, can help ease anxiety and reduce stress levels. If they have a particular hobby that relaxes them, you can create an opportunity to enjoy that hobby for a while right before the actual move in. This can help to positively impact their mood and mindset leading up to the move. It also will alleviate some of the anxiety they may be feeling.
Moving requires physical endurance and strength. It’s helpful to engage aging persons in a light physical activity before moving so that their bodies are ready for physical exertion. Even if they won’t be doing any of the actual physical work, the exertion helps their body physiologically deal with the stress they may be feeling. Simple activities such as taking a short walk, gentle stretching, or dancing can help strengthen muscles, boost flexibility, and improve cardio-vascular health.
Moving can be an isolating experience, especially for older adults who may face challenges in making new social connections. Engaging senior individuals in group activities such as singing or playing games before the move can lead to the formation of new social connections and help prevent isolation.
Whatever option you choose, they will appreciate a bit of distraction and interaction to calm them before the move and you will help make it a more positive experience.