OpenPlacement Blog

How To Prepare For Transitioning To Assisted Living

living1Transitioning an elderly parent to an assisted living facility is often the right move for older adults that need regular medical attention and can no longer care for themselves in the fashion that they used to. However, for many children with elderly parents, the transition can be particularly confusing for a variety of reasons.

While it may take some time for your parent to adjust to assisted living, you need to do everything you can to prepare before moving day. Being prepared will make the transition easier for your parent and you, and it can ease some of the uncertainty that’s very typical when moving an elderly adult into an assisted living facility.

Take time to talk with your parent and the facility director about assisted living before making any final decisions.


As the parent of an adult that needs the attention only an assisted living facility can provide, you are going to be responsible for the cost. In some cases, money saved by parents can be used to cover living expenses, but this is not always possible.

The cost of assisted living facilities can vary considerably based on location and the level of care provided. Before you even start looking at different facilities, it’s prudent to consider what you would be able to pay each month.

In some cases, the cost of assisted living facilities can also vary based on whether you rent, lease or purchase the residential facility for your parent. Talk to facilities in your area to see about different payment plans and how they can benefit you.

Take Emotional Needs Into Account

Assisted living facilities vary in what they allow residents to do. In some facilities, residents can bring furniture from home and fill their space with it – which can help to ease the transition to a certain degree. Some facilities even allow residents to bring their cars and personal belongings. This really helps them feel comfortable and more at home.

living2In addition to things like furniture and personal belongings, it’s also important to think about how often you’ll be seeing your parent. Some assisted living facilities have limited visiting hours, and if those don’t fit your schedule, the facility may not be a good fit.

Other facilities have more open visiting hours based on the desires of the resident. All of this needs to be weighed against the medical care your parent needs, as facilities designed to help residents with severe medical problems may limit personal belongings, visits and things of that nature.

Many assisted living facilities offer unique outdoor activities like gardening for residents.

Medical Needs

One of the most important things to consider when moving an elderly parent into an assisted living facility is their overall level of health and what medical needs they may have. Some assisted living facilities are designed for patients that are generally healthy – keeping only nurses on staff and having doctors visit.

Other facilities keep doctors on staff all the time and have access to high-quality medical equipment – similar to what you might find in a hospital. It is important to note if the medical staff is caring for the overall health of the residents, not just when there is an emergency.

Before transitioning a parent to an assisted living facility, evaluating the medical abilities of the facility versus your parent’s medical needs is particularly important.

Moving a parent to an assisted living facility can be a difficult experience. However, planning it out properly and communicating throughout the process can make the transition easier for you and your parent.

Proper planning also means finding the right facility – one that can keep your parent healthy, happy, and productive in their golden years.

About the Author:

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer, proud mother of three and loving daughter. Having a special needs child, she has learned how important it is to make the right preparations in order to take on any situation. Follow her at