Whether due to a move to an assisted living community or the decision to live with senior roommates, many seniors will find themselves living alongside other seniors after years of only living with family. For most, it’s been decades since they had a roommate that wasn’t their spouse or lived with anyone that wasn’t immediate family.
Getting accustomed to living alongside other people again – many of whom will have different habits and lifestyles – can understandably be a challenge.
Be aware of any noises that you make.
Anytime you live in close contact with someone else, you should make an effort to be aware and minimize the noise you make, especially at night when everyone is asleep. Be conscientious and willing to work with other seniors whenever they ask you to calm down.
Communication is the secret to success in any type of relationship. Naturally, it’s one of the most important ways to stay on good terms with other seniors that you live with.
When you start living with someone new, talk about your needs and priorities ahead of time. Talk about any issues that arise and always be polite and diplomatic when doing so. Most people will try to be accommodating if you approach them kindly.
Give others privacy.
If you’re an introvert who regularly needs your privacy and space, this suggestion may come naturally. If you are an extrovert, you may need to put in an effort. Recognize that there may be times when you want company, but the people around you prefer time for them.
If your roommates express a desire to be alone, let them be. If they have a space in their room, they ask others to consider it as forbidden, to respect their wishes. People often desire a space that feels personal and all their own, which is hard to make work and something to be aware of when living with other people.
You may sometimes find it challenging to understand where your fellow residents or roommates are coming from, but remember that any senior you live with has lived a long life full of different experiences from your own.
Do your best to be kind and understanding. Remember that someone who is particularly difficult can be someone who is in pain. This is no excuse for being a bad roommate, but it is often not necessary for you to provide allowances to others who are having a rough time.
You’re always going to have a better experience living alongside people you’re friendly with. Start conversations with your neighbors and roommates. Some of them may become close friends. Others won’t, but you’ll still benefit from having a friendly relationship with them.
In an assisted living community, make a point to also be friendly and kind to the staff. They’ll play a big role in what your experience living there will be like. If you treat them with cooperation and respect, you’re much more likely to develop positive relationships with the people you depend on.
Communicate when something’s bothering you but also listen when someone lets you know something’s bothering them, or just when they want to talk about their struggles.
Whenever the opportunity presents itself, try to share some of what you have with those around you. If you cooked a big, delicious meal and have plenty to go around, offer some to your roommates.
If your family visits you and brings a bunch of homemade cookies to your assisted living residence, offer some to the people around you.
Sharing’s a great way to earn goodwill and as a bonus, you’re that much more likely to be the beneficiary of similar sharing from the people you live with.
From our team to yours, we keep you in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts and we are thankful for each of you. May blessings be yours this Thanksgiving.