Transitioning to Assisted Living Can Be Stressful, Even When the Senior Is Excited

Gary was actually excited about the prospect of moving to a local assisted living community. He had grown weary of the yard work, cleaning the house, and even cooking for himself. It had been more than five years since his wife passed away and while his children were involved in his life and he had good friends and neighbors, life at home was different.

The first time his oldest son brought up the topic of assisted living, he was actually relieved. He had wanted to make a change, but wasn’t sure if that was the right thing to do. Having somebody else broach the topic first brought forth a sense of acceptance.


Even as he was excited, the move was going to be stressful.

Assisted Living Daphne, AL:Transitioning to Assisted Living Can Be Stressful

Just because Gary had been excited about the prospect of moving into an assisted living facility, that didn’t mean things were going to be simple and smooth. Moving is one of the top stressors in life.

He needed to pack, downsize, and figure out what to do with so many possessions, mementos, and other items he and his wife had collected over more than 50 years together.

Packing up those boxes very slowly, taking his time over many months before the scheduled move in date, meant reliving incredible memories and also feeling the impact of her loss more acutely.

His friends and family would visit often, helping him go through things and figure out what to do with so many items he simply didn’t want to throw away, but as the date of his move approached more quickly, he became more and more stressed.


The stress was about the change, not the pressure.

Gary planned ahead. By the week of his move into assisted living, everything was taken care of. He already staged out the furniture, knew exactly what pictures and other mementos he would take with him, and he was ready in that regard.

Still, he understood this was going to be a difficult move. Just because he was excited about the prospect of reconnecting with friends he hadn’t seen in years and no longer needing to worry about meals, cleaning, or even driving, he was feeling homesick.

It was important for his family to support him, visit with him, and be responsive if and when he called from that assisted living community. Because they were, the transition was a bit easier for Gary than he thought during those final weeks before the move in date.

It’s a good idea not to assume an aging senior will be completely fine moving into assisted living just because they are excited about the prospect. The longer a person has remained the same place, the more stressful and difficult moving can be, even when they fully realize it’s time.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Assisted Living near Daphne, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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