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How to Normalize the Senior Living Experience

How to Normalize the Senior Living ExperienceHow to Normalize the Senior Living Experience

As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age and begin to consider a move to a continuing care retirement center or some other type of assisted living facility, nursing homes are finding themselves getting ready for an influx of patients and residents. Despite this boom in the aging population, however, many of these elderly individuals have a tough time transitioning out of their homes they’ve known for years; often feeling like if they have lived differently, or raised their children differently, they would not have “ended up” in a “place like this.”

According to the Illinois Council on Long Term Care, one-third of all Americans will require nursing home care at some point in their lives, and one-half of the people entering nursing homes will stay there for the remainder of their lives. As large as those statistics are, however, they give little solace to the resident who just unwillingly moved into your nursing home. So how can you alleviate the concerns of residents such as this? Psychologist Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D. offers some insight on how to potentially “normalize” the senior living experience for your elderly residents.

Provide Testimonials/Examples. Give your resident’s family members resources to show their elderly loved ones, whether through your brochure or website. Have these resources include testimonials from residents who are happy about being there, as well as information about recent events and activities your residents have taken part of.

Encourage Peer Groups. Many assisted living facilities encourage social events such as playing card games, getting together for movie night, or even dining together at the end of the day. Some seniors may even enjoy getting together for a book club event or a “support” style group meeting where they can discuss their life experiences and share their concerns with like-minded elderly individuals.

Train Staff to Offer Friendly Greeting. For the average staff member, it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day aspect of their job, and not focus their attention on greeting a new resident that has come through the door for the first time. However, staff members should be encouraged to put themselves in that resident’s shoes and realize that this is the first impression that resident is getting. Even something as simple as a smile, a hello, or a comment of “you are going to love it here” will go a long way in alleviating the fears that residents may have.

These are just a few ideas on how to normalize the senior living experience for your residents. Have you noticed any particular activities that could help ease the transition for your own residents?

At DignCARE, we understand that you are in the business of caring for others. This is why our Nursing Home Insurance Policies reach beyond financial protection and extend to offering Risk Management Tips and focus on the care and well-being of your residents. For more information about our products and services, please contact us today at (855) 883-6306.

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