If your loved one has recently made the transition to assisted living, or you’re thinking that a transition might be necessary in the near future, you may find yourself wondering, “How long does it take to get used to assisted living?” Ultimately, this is a huge decision and not one that often comes easy. You may find yourself feeling worried and overwhelmed, thinking, “Is there any dependable assisted living near me?”

Unfortunately, there is no perfect way to remove all the worries, doubts, and questions that come along with helping a loved one make the move to assisted living. However, there are steps that you can take, both before and after the move, that can help ease your anxieties and those of the ones you care about.

Factors That May Affect the Adjustment

There are several things that may affect how long it could take someone to adjust to their new home. Knowing and understanding these factors can give you a sense of empathy as you support your loved one in this transition.

  • Mobility and Overall Health: The physical mobility and overall health of a senior can significantly affect their adjustment into assisted living. Individuals with chronic health issues or poor mobility have a greater chance of taking longer to adapt. It may take them a while to get used to the support, care, and services that may be deemed necessary in their new living situation.
  • Personal Attitude and Character: Some elders are not open to change. This can make the transition difficult, as their negative attitude could affect their adjustment. On the other hand, an individual who is more open to change and chooses to have a positive outlook may adapt more quickly to their new environment.
  • Past Living Arrangements: An individual’s residential history has the potential to impact their upcoming or recent move. If they are used to living alone or with limited interaction or support from outside services, they might feel either relief from the additional assistance or stubborn and uncooperative. In contrast, someone who has grown accustomed to living with family might feel lonely and isolated as they adjust to a life away from loved ones.

No one individual is the same as another and there are many other factors that could come into play, depending on each unique situation. The most important thing you can do is offer as much support as possible to ease this transition, even before the move is officially made.

How to Prepare Your Loved One for Assisted Living

Once a decision has been made to move an elder into assisted living, there are steps you can take before the move that could better prepare your loved one for the transition.

  • Research and Choose the Right Home: The first step is to do your research. When looking for the perfect assisted living situation for your loved one, it is always wise to schedule a tour so you can see the facility in person. Take note of the staff, the leadership, and specific caregivers. Pay attention to the cleanliness of the campus, the attitude of the staff, and whether the other residents seem content.
  • Pack With Purpose: The first thing you’ll want to do when you reach this step is to check with the community to see if they provide any packing services. Assistance with this process can allow for a smoother transition. Prioritize necessary items first when packing. Things like medications, toiletries, clothing, bedding, and furniture can come first. The task can be less overwhelming if you stay organized and take things one at a time.
  • Ensure That Personal Details Are Taken Care Of: There are a few logistical things that will need to be taken care of when moving a loved one into a community. You’ll want to cancel any subscriptions, cable or internet services, and/or utilities that will otherwise be provided by the assisted living home. Make sure that the post office is aware of the change in address, and update the address on all bank accounts, credit or debit cards, and any mail-order subscriptions.

Now that a decision has been made and your preparations are in order, it’s time to make the move. Thankfully, if your loved one is still feeling anxious, there are more steps to take once the transition is made to help them adapt.

How to Help Them Adjust

Once your loved one has moved into their new home, there are several things you can do or encourage them to do that can help them make a full transition.

  • Visit often.
  • Help personalize their space.
  • Get acquainted with the staff.
  • Encourage them to get involved in events and activities and to socialize with their neighbors.

Moving into assisted living might feel uncertain, but there is plenty of support to be had along the way.


Q: How Long Does It Take for an Elderly Person to Adjust to Assisted Living?

A: There is no set timeframe for how long it might take someone to adjust to assisted living. Each person is unique and has their own set of uncertainties and doubts. Just remember to be patient and understanding as the transition takes place. Also, try to follow the steps to help make the move as easy on your loved one as possible.

Q: What Is the Right Age to Move to Assisted Living?

A: There is no right age for someone to move into assisted living. As each person is different, and their mental and physical health is unique to them, so is their living situation. Some people might find the move necessary at a younger age, while others may never need to transition into assisted living.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Adjust to Long-Term Care?

A: Long-term care can feel overwhelming and confusing when the topic is first brought up. There is a litany of emotions that can be wrapped into the decision, both for your loved one and yourself. Know then, that there is no set time for adjustment, and it may take time for them to fully adapt, depending on their situation.

Q: At What Age Do Most Seniors Go Into Assisted Living?

A: In 2024, most seniors residing in assisted living homes are in their 80s. However, just because this is the average doesn’t mean that there aren’t younger and older residents. Many facilities allow for patients who are as young as 65. 50% of residents are 85 and older, and 31% are between 74 and 84.

Find Support and Care at Rocky Mountain Assisted Living

In general terms, there is no specific timeline for how long it might take a loved one to adjust to assisted living. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

At Rocky Mountain Assisted Living, we can do everything in our power to ensure that your loved one’s transition is as smooth and quick as possible. Contact us today to see if we’d be the right place for them to start this new chapter in their life.