By: Katie Holterman


Senior Director of Clinical Programming & Development

My parents were recently in the process of choosing a new place to live and had to make an important decision—the decision whether or not to move into an assisted living community. Understandably, there were several emotions that surfaced throughout the process of deciding on this important next step.  I had an honest conversation with my father to discuss these emotions, and we worked through how to handle each of them. As we talked, the most prevalent feelings that surfaced were eagerness, fear, and uncertainty.   

My parents were eager to move to a place where they feel supported. Their ability to care for themselves in many different activities of daily living had significantly declined over the past year. Both of my parents felt anticipation and excitement at the fact they would have access to the care they needed.  But admittedly, they felt unsure and fearful that this was the right decision for them. I heard questions from them such as “What if I get there and can’t set up my apartment the way I feel it suits me best?”  or “I’ve known my house, my neighbors, and my community for so many years…I’m comfortable here. What if I can’t get used to a new place?” These were very valid questions that almost every senior has had in the back of their mind in this situation.

I promised my dad that we will work through these emotions together before long and that he and my mother will be settled, successful, and smiling in their new environment!

There’s an emphasis on the smiling part if you couldn’t tell. Why? Well, it’s because here at Legacy, we have a program that addresses these very fears and concerns my parents were feeling. Our Legacy therapists have the honor of helping residents settle into their new homes within one of our partnering communities. Our promise with our SMILE program is that we will work together with our communities to offer residents a way to ensure they are integrated into the community safely and happily. 

We work directly with the resident and the community to screen the new environment and help them acclimate to their surroundings; we also provide tools and resources to ensure safety in their new home. We view furniture placement, lighting, and overall environment. We ask about their daily routine to ensure they can maintain familiarity. We get to know our residents’ likes and dislikes and work together with our community partners to develop social interactions that will be meaningful and interesting. 

We also know the overall statistics surrounding new resident move-ins. We know that, according to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics and National Center for Assisted Living, 29-64% of residents will need some amount of help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, walking, or transfers.  We realize that residents come with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease/dementia.  We know those important statistics so that we can apply that knowledge to help maintain residents’ independence in their new environment. 

We understand the importance of all these factors, and we are excited to help residents adjust to their new environment—because we know they may feel many emotions as they get settled into new surroundings.  And, we are determined to help them be settled, successful, and smiling!

Interested in learning more about how our wellness programs could impact the lives of seniors in your community? Click the button to connect with our business development team—they’d love to show how this portal can truly make a difference in your community.