Anxiety And Assisted Living: How To Move In With More Confidence And Less Apprehension, So You Can Enjoy Your New Place
Moving is a big deal to anyone, but when you have anxiety, it's much more difficult to make the transition to a new neighborhood, particularly the close quarters of assisted living. That doesn't mean you should avoid moving to a place that meets your changing needs as you get older, though, it just means you should have a plan in place to succeed at transitioning.
Give Yourself Time To Plan
Mentally preparing for a move is just as, if not more, important as packing and renting a moving van. If you've been on a waiting list for an assisted living apartment, that should have given you the time you need to get your head ready, but if not, try and devote at least some of your time to thinking about the new place and visualizing yourself in the different environment.
Take Things Slowly Once You Move Into Assisted Living
While it's a good idea to try to make friends, when you live with anxiety, it's best to take things more slowly. Accept saying "Hello" to people in the hall as a means of getting to know your new neighbors, before making the commitment to exchange names and invite each other over. It's much harder to make conversation and be comfortable around new people when you deal with anxiety; thus, taking things slowly will help you adjust at a more relaxed pace.
Read About What's Going On, First
If the assisted living facility has a monthly newspaper or mailing list, definitely request to be a part of it. That way, you can familiarize yourself with the names and faces of the people putting the social activities together, along with getting a good feel for what goes on and how you can become a part of it.
Ask Family To Visit You And Help Around The Apartment In The Meantime
As you make the adjustment to your new home and environment, it's still important to have company. Especially if you need things moved or help to store boxes away in high places, ask the people you already know and are comfortable with to come over, help you out, and offer an exchange of pleasant conversation. You can talk about your observations and get helpful feedback on the potential friends and activities available to you.
Gradually Get Into Something Social
On your own terms and in your own time, try dipping your toes in the social waters, to see how things go. Hopefully, you'll meet a few people who are laid back and casual, just enough to avoid making you feel self-conscious or anxious. You can always make up a polite excuse for leaving, if you have to, such as an aching back or needing to make an important call. The point is to set yourself up in such a way as to feel like you're in control, no matter what the socializing may bring.
Talk To A Counselor If Your Anxiety Is Overwhelming
Because being social, getting out and mixing it up with your neighbors is an important part of a healthy, fulfilling life, if you feel so anxious in your new place that you find yourself avoiding people, try talking to a counselor. Anxiety and depression (which often go hand-in-hand) aren't uncommon in the elderly population, but, unfortunately, the conditions often go untreated. If you feel like you're missing out on all the fun of getting to know your new neighbors and being involved in their community, counseling could help you overcome the anxieties holding you back.
Anxiety is no fun at any age; however, when you're older and suddenly need to depend on the assistance of strangers and move to a new apartment complex, it can all be too much. Make a plan for your move, giving yourself time to adjust and solicit the help of those closest to you. Also, find someone in the assisted living facility to confide in, because that can give you just the boost you need to feel more at home.
For more information, contact an assisted living facility like Rosewood Villa.