Would You Be My Neighbor?

A move from your own home to a Retirement or Assisted Living Community changes the definition of “neighbor” in several ways. Living literally right next door to someone has definite advantages and disadvantages. Your ability to adjust to new situations is important.

Knowing how to react when a difference in lifestyle occurs is valuable when finding a solution to please everyone. Your assisted living neighbor may never become a bosom buddy but there is always hope for harmony. Here are some tips to help:

The Stick in the Mud Nudge

We ourselves establish habits. Changes occurring in the first few months of living at a Senior Living Community may challenge routines. Everyone has a certain style and approach. Changes in habits or personality are destined to be an undertaking.

Remember the “The Odd Couple?” It is a story about two roommates, their relationship and struggles to live together. One was housekeeping challenged and the other was a neat freak.” The Odd Couple” was presented as a comedy but it is anything but funny to live with others whose habits are irritating. It is in each of our best interests to place ourselves in the other’s shoes and consider the possibility they mean no harm. Approach to life is just different from our own.

If you are a tidy person and your neighbor leaves trash bags open outside their door resentment will soon begin to build. Consider the appearance of the front door is not a priority but living in the moment is their dream. Remember when you were unpacking at your new apartment and still did not miss any social opportunity being offered?

Solitude and personal space may be your comfort zone. A visitor from the community then sits by you and talks ad nauseum while you quietly wait for a moment’s silence. Perhaps they are simply lonely and grateful someone is taking the time to listen to them. Do you remember wishing you knew someone when you moved to your new home?

Incompatibility has many faces and no circumstance is necessarily right… only different. Learning to live with other resident’s routines requires time and effort. Conflict resolutions need to be carefully considered and used for everyone’s best interests.

Communication is Key

Resolving conflict depends heavily on clear and open communication. Adult children and family members may be asked on occasion to help resolve conflicts and identify common ground for a compromise. When everyone keeps conversations cordial the outcome is reached faster and results in a more amicable atmosphere. Agreeable resolutions become possible when conflicts are examined openly, both parties listen to each other and there is a strong desire to reach a positive solution.

Assistance from Staff

If a constructive answer is not imminent, request the administrative staff to step in and help. An objective third person may have more impact, recognize a policy to be enforced or see where a new standard needs to be set. One example would be a “quiet hours” rule enforced to ensure those who need quiet time receive it. The administrator may be able to produce a written agreement for both parties stipulating the rules on which both agree.

Turning Things Around

Most people want to live in harmony with their neighbors. Unfortunately, no one communicates in the same way. Individuals may have a difficult time expressing themselves in conversation, yet their written words are articulate and express viewpoints well.

Find the best means of communication and make an effort to find pathways for small changes in your approach. Communicating with your Assisted Living Community neighbor in a productive and constructive manner is the basis of creating a harmonious environment, one you both will appreciate. Life with peers and enjoying what each day brings with neighbors leads to a joy-filled quality of life.

Bridge to Better Living recognizes each client is unique in their needs. We pay attention to YOU and offer a no-cost, nonbiased, one-on-one service. Placement with Passion is our motto and we pride ourselves on successful choices. Contact Bridge to Better Living now and start your journey to a new Senior Living Option.