Older adults who need help with daily tasks or who have discovered a declining quality of life may have decided an assisted living community could be the perfect solution. Residents can thrive when given the opportunity to live an engaged and meaningful life.
Once a specific community has been selected and a move-in date chosen, it’s time to begin the senior living move-in process. However, you may be unsure of where to start.
We can help. In fact, the process can be simpler than you might have imagined.
The following information and steps can make moving into a senior living community a productive and positive transition.
The Senior Living Move-In Process
The decision to move into a senior living community is often the most challenging step. Once the advantages are considered, however, it’s easy to see how your loved one could begin living an easier – yet meaningful – life that is filled with activities, friends and engaging social interactions.
But once the decision has been made, your family may be unsure of what to do next. The following can help provide the answers.
1. Create a plan
The senior living move-in process will go much smoother if there’s a plan. Keep organized with a notebook and include a list of tasks, dates and deadlines as well as contacts and telephone numbers.
Work backward from the move-in date, allowing enough time to accomplish each task. Discover how good it feels to check items off the list.
2. Downsize effectively
Downsizing is often a part of the senior living move-in process. It takes time but is well worth the effort as you decide what to take and what to leave behind.
Request a copy of the floor plan for the size and layout. Use this to consider what furniture pieces would work best. This is also the time to arrange for movers.
3. Work with your community
The senior living community is experienced in helping families make the transition. They can recommend what is best to bring, including clothing and personal belongings.
They will also recommend a time of day to arrive on the first day. Ask for ideas to help your loved one adjust and how the community can help support the transition.
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4. Create a schedule for move-in day
Your senior living move-in process will go much smoother if you have created a schedule for the day. Try to make this a positive experience while understanding it can be emotional.
Perhaps your family could all get together for breakfast before the move? Would it be better for someone to go ahead and make sure everything is in place?
5. Celebrate the move but acknowledge the feelings
Keep things positive but also acknowledge – and prepare – for an emotional transition. Understand this move likely represents much more to your loved one than just a change of address.
Gently recall the positive features waiting ahead, including the end of worrisome concerns, such as fear of living alone or not being able to prepare meals.
6. Create a genuine home
Talk with your loved one about what elements create a home. Is it a favorite reading chair, comforter or quilt? Successful senior living move-in processes generally include recreating favorite elements in their new home.
Consider taking a grandchild’s artwork, framed photos or the treasured music listened to before bed. Although it takes time to feel at home, the familiar greatly helps the transition.
7. Share a meal together
It might be helpful to share the first meal together. Having the reassurance of a friendly face can be a great way to break the ice and start conversations with the other residents.
Ask the community about other ideas to help with the transition. Find the balance between being supportive and encouraging a loved one to join in and begin feeling at home.
8. Encourage participation in activities
If possible, arrange for your loved one to visit the community several times before they move in. This can greatly assist in helping to identify this new place as home.
One way to make the senior living move-in process easier is to arrange for them to participate in a favorite activity where they can begin seeing the faces of their new neighbors and friends.
9. Reassure your loved one
Hesitation about the move is normal. The realization of leaving home and moving to somewhere new can cause anxiety.
One way to smooth the senior living move-in process is to match a need they have with the solution that assisted living provides, such as struggling to bathe and now having personal assistance daily or no longer driving and enjoying the community’s transportation.
10. Be available
New residents are often concerned they will no longer see their family after the move. Now that they have assistance, they may worry their children won’t understand the desire to still have interaction.
Reassure your loved one that the family will continue to be a large part of everyday life. Make the senior living move-in process positive and remind them that now you can spend time together having fun or sharing an activity – and not only on caregiving tasks.
Discover life at a Northbridge community.
If you’re considering senior living for yourself or a family member, we hope you’ll visit one of our communities. You’ll find a maintenance-free, activity-filled and engaging lifestyle to help support your wellness goals.
You’ll also discover many benefits in a Northbridge Senior Living community, including our Signature Program S.T.A.R. Club (Sharp Thinking, Active Residents) – which offers our residents several activities to participate in with others, including:
- Daily exercise group
- Walking club
- Tai Chi & yoga
- Nutritional classes
- Library and book club
- Museum outings
- Artists in residence program
- Multi-generational music
- Genealogy Generations
We’re here to answer any of your questions. Please contact us if we can provide further information or if you would like to schedule a personalized tour. Download our complimentary Family Decision Toolkit.