Transitioning a Loved One Into an Assisted Living Community

An adult child shares her insights on moving her mother-in-law into senior living.

Moving a loved one to an assisted living community is a delicate transition. It takes research, planning and clear communication to make the move go smoothly. Rebecca Kilbury shares her experience of moving her mother-in-law, Fran Kilbury, age 85, into AlmaVia of Camarillo.

Q: When did you know it was time to start considering assisted living for your mother-in-law?

A: There were multiple reasons. One was that my husband and I had moved out of town. Fran lived in board and care because her husband needed that level of care. When he died, she just stayed on there. Also, the owners were aging and needing care themselves, so the community began to look like it was probably going to close.

All they were doing was providing her a home and oversight of her medications. There were no activities. She was extremely bored. Once in a while one of the caregivers would take her to the grocery store with them, but they didn’t have any stimulating projects — just the TV going all the time.

My husband and I discussed it. We had moved to Camarillo, so we wanted to move her closer to us. However, we wanted something that was more at her level, so she could be more independent … and make friends. We began talking to her about moving, always in a positive way. We also asked the staff at the board and care to support the idea and speak positively about it. Because of that, it went really well.

Q: How did you select a community?

A: We checked out several communities in the area, and AlmaVia seemed to be the one we thought was the best fit for her to live independently. The residents seemed happy, while other places I’ve visited I got kind of a different view. [AlmaVia’s staff members] offered all kinds of helpful suggestions. I really like that they treat her with respect and dignity.

She does have some memory problems, so one of the tips they gave was not to show her an empty apartment. If we had, it would have been more disconcerting and she would have had trouble visualizing what it was going to be like.

Q: How was the transition into Camarillo senior living?

A: Over two weeks we finalized the residency papers and outfitted the room for her. We involved her in the process, and she was tickled [about her new apartment]. She likes having her own independent space. She really didn’t have that before. She likes the option of being able to go downstairs. If she gets a little bored at some point, then she goes looking for something to do. The residents have been wonderful about stopping in to visit and taking her out to eat here and there. Everyone’s been really helpful.

Q: Would you recommend AlmaVia to others considering assisted living?

A: Absolutely, without hesitation. The staff is really pleasant and the care is high quality. They really watch out for each other and they really know the residents.

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