Adjustment to Assisted Living

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

How can I help my mom adjust to her new Assisted Living home? I wouldn’t say she’s depressed, but she just doesn’t have that same spark and joy. Any fun activities you might suggest to get her feeling good again? -Robert, Mineola, NY

Dear Robert,

Great question, and it’s a common situation. Your mom is going through a tremendous life change right now, and it can certainly be overwhelming. Of course, first and foremost, check with her doctor; be sure there isn’t anything more serious going on than just a dip in her mood and behavior. If it’s just a fun boost you’re after, though, I’ve got just the thing. I recently came across a great tip that can help your mom make new friends and feel better about her new home.

See if you can get her to start a Movie Club at the community. They can pick a night each week, watch a movie and discuss it as a group afterward. Sort of a Book Club – only instead the seeing the movies separately, they all see it and discuss it together as a social event. To get her started, I have a list of ten “feel-good” movies for seniors that are guaranteed to get them chatting and interacting. They won’t be able to help themselves, and your mom will feel really good about getting it all going. They are:

  1. The Gold Rush (1924) with Charlie Chaplin
  2. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) with Jimmy Stewart & Donna Reed
  3. Strictly Ballroom (1992) with Paul Mercurio
  4. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) with Gene Kelly
  5. Grease (1978) with John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
  6. Bringing Up Baby (1938) with Cary Grant & Katherine Hepburn
  7. My Fair Lady (1964) with Audrey Hepburn & Rex Harrison
  8. The Odd Couple (1966) with Jack Lemmon & Walter Matthau
  9. Some Like It Hot (1959) with Tony Curtis & Jack Lemmon
  10. Billy Elliot (2000) with Jamie Bell & Julie Walters

Now Robert, these aren’t exactly intellectual films that will inspire profound and provocative discussion, but they will crack a smile, tickle a giggle and get the group buzzing. Tell mom not to forget the popcorn!

Maryellen McKeon

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