Moving to a new home is never easy, but it can be particularly challenging if that home is a senior living community. No matter how good a fit it ends up being, the first few months are bound to be challenging.
But if you have the right attitude and take the necessary steps, you can make the transition with ease and enjoy your new life from the beginning. The following tips will help you adjust to your new home as quickly and smoothly as possible:
1. Set Your Own Pace
Above all else, it’s important to take your time when getting used to a new community. While it’s good to participate in community activities and events, don’t feel like you have to do so with any particular speed.
Instead, get involved in the community gradually, and stop to see how you feel. If it ever seems like things are changing too fast, don’t be afraid to take a break and spend some time alone.
2. Keep Your Friends & Family Close
Depending on where your retirement community is located, you may not have as many opportunities to see friends and loved ones as you did in your old home. But keeping in contact with such people is essential if you want to make a smooth and comfortable transition to your new life. Make a point to communicate with friends and family on a daily basis, and invite them to come visit you at their earliest opportunity.
3. Maintain Your Routines
Just because you’re living in a new place doesn’t mean you can’t keep your old routines going. Whether it’s exercising at a certain time, pursuing certain hobbies, or entertaining yourself in a particular way, your habits and traditions will help make things feel grounded and normal.
You should make a point to continue them. Make sure to talk to the staff at your retirement community about these hobbies and habits. That makes it easier to keep them up without running afoul of the community’s rules.
4. Stay Active
Of all the traditions that you keep up, few matter more than exercise. Not only does working out keep your body healthy, but it also helps your mind, lowering the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. The stress of moving to a new community can often lead to depression and anxiety, so by exercising, you keep these negative effects to a minimum.
5. Remember to Eat & Drink
Along with exercise, eating full and nutritious meals is also important for keeping your mind and your body healthy. When making a difficult transition to a new community, many people don’t eat as much for the first few weeks.
But if you can avoid this tendency and make sure to eat your fill, you’ll feel a lot better about the move in no time. Remember that if you’re in a premier retirement community, there should be plenty of great options for getting delicious, healthy meals, like Grille 39 at Deupree House. Make a point to take advantage of them from day one.
Drink up, at meals and in between. Being dehydrated can have a serious impact on short-term and long-term health. A few easy tips include drinking water instead of sweetened drinks. Drink water throughout the day instead of chugging a large amount in one sitting, and drink before you feel thirsty. Even mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1-3 percent) can impair energy levels and mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance. Take note and keep keep our favorite reusable bottle close at hand.
6. Build Community Bonds
One you’ve taken care of basic needs like food and exercise, it’s time to seek out community and companionship. Your retirement community will undoubtedly have regular trips, games, performances, classes, and other activities where you and other community members can meet and interact with one another.
Get involved in as many of these events as you feel comfortable participating in, and make a point to befriend the people you meet. The more friends you have, the more your retirement community will truly feel like home.
7. Make Your Room Your Own
Even as you become a part of your community, you still want to maintain a sense of individuality. One of the best ways to do this is to use your room to express yourself. To the extent possible given the community’s policies, fill your room with art, decorations, books, and other items that embody your interests and tastes. This way, whenever you need a break from community life, you can retreat to a place that’s truly yours.
8. Get Excited About Your New Life
As you become involved in group activities and leave your mark on the community, let yourself get excited about your new life. The more you can appreciate and celebrate what is now your home, the more you will feel that this is the best place for you.
Deupree House offers guidance and support for every member of our community, especially those moving into a retirement home for the first time. Want to learn more? Schedule your visit today. We look forward to meeting you.