For children, the stages of life can be confusing, especially when faced with a major transition such as a loved one moving into a senior living facility. However, you can help children manage the change with helpful conversations and continued contact with their grandparents or other loved ones. Here are some ideas.
Stages of Life
Look for books that explain how our bodies get weaker as we grow older. You may also consider using “stages of life” cards when discussing this with young children that show babies, children, adults, and senior citizens. Have your child place each of the cards in order. Explain that as bodies get older and tired, sometimes people need help from nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. This can help children understand the need for the professional care offered at a senior living community.
Discuss Visits, Cards, and Interactions
Focus on the positive. They can still visit their grandparents often and enjoy a lot of the same activities even if their loved one no longer lives in the same house. Encourage children to think of creative ways to interact such as sending cards or calling on the phone.
Validate Their Feelings
However your child feels about this transition, be it sadness, anger, or another feeling, is okay. Tell your child that you understand and that sometimes life is difficult. With time, your child will adjust to the change. In the meantime, give them the space to feel whatever they’re feeling and try to give them as many opportunities as possible to interact with their loved one.
Services such as those offered by transParent Concierge can help with transportation and accompaniment so that your loved one can continue to enjoy mobility and freedom after transferring to a senior living facility.
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