Handling Departures From Senior Living Facilities

By Patricia Conlon, Banyan Place Senior Community

What’s the best way to make the transition smooth for moving out of a senior living residence? Almost everyone has received news that a resident is moving out for many circumstances such as declining health, family relocation, inability to pay and other personal reasons. But as the competition for senior housing increases, moving out reinforces that finding the right community is critical. As time goes on, local competition may turn into ‘cooperative competition’ where local communities know and respect the differences that each facility has to offer and provide referrals for different prospective residents to other facilities. While the grass does seem greener for residents from time to time, changing facilities is a natural part of senior living and handling those transitions are critical.

Moving out is a part of the business that involves both emotional and economical responsibilities but it’s the emotional part that sometimes takes a greater toll. As staff becomes family by proxy, moving residents out becomes a stressful time for both residents and staff. In many cases, hosting a going-away party or dinner for a select group of residents to remind them of the friends and connections that they’ve made while living at the facility and shows the person leaving how much they mean to their friends and the community.

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Other tips that can help ease the transition include:

· Be gracious and respectful and understand that sometimes the decision to leave is inevitable

· Work with them on establishing a contact point for correspondence and future contact

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· Leave a lasting impression as if it were to be the first impression

· Provide a memento such as a picture frame

· Provide assurance that they are welcome back if possible

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