In the United States, 12 million adults 65 and older live alone, and 61% of those adults want to stay in their own home. That desire to stay at home can make moving into assisted living or independent senior living facility a scary or stressful experience. Having a plan for the move can make the transition easier and help you become a part of your new community faster.
Check out these seven tips for moving into senior living facilities.
1. Find a Good Fit for You
Before you can move, you need to find the right type of senior living housing for you. Once you decide on the type, visit several facilities to find one that fits your budget, location needs, and amenity preferences. Consider the type of activities you want to do and the proximity of the facility to places you visit often.
An independent senior living community is an age-restricted community designed for older people. You get the independence of living in your own home, but the community often doesn’t provide care to residents. Living in an independent senior community gives you access to the amenities of the facility and surrounds you with other seniors to make socialization easier.
An assisted living facility is ideal when you need help with daily care but don’t need as much care as you would get in a nursing home. These facilities often have separate rooms or apartments with shared areas as well and access to things such as daily meals, daily care, housekeeping, and medication administration. They often have recreational activities you can do.
Once you find the facility you want to live in, explore the different floor plan options. Some facilities have different levels of care or different types of housing.
2. Understand the Fine Print
Senior living contracts are often long and full of legal terms, but it’s important to look through them carefully. Ensure you understand what you’re agreeing to. You want a clear understanding of the financial commitment and any terms and restrictions of living in the community.
This can be especially important when looking for an assisted living facility. The contract should detail exactly what the staff will do and what services they provide. It might also list things they don’t provide, so it’s important that you agree to this level of care.
3. Finalize the Timeline
Create a moving timeline to ensure you get everything done before and after the move. Verify your move-in date to ensure you can line up movers and know how much time you have to get everything done. If you’re selling your home, you’ll also need to consider the selling timeline.
Plan when you need to start packing to be prepared for the move. Create a personalized checklist with tasks you need to complete, such as changing your mailing address or updating your driver’s license, with deadlines for each task to match the timeline.
4. Downsize Your Belongings
Before moving, find out what comes with your new living facilities. Some assisted living facilities offer furnished apartments, which means you don’t need to take your furniture.
If you choose an unfurnished space, look at the dimensions of the rooms to ensure your current furniture will fit. You might need to get rid of some of the furniture or get newer, smaller furniture pieces to better work in the space.
Look at smaller items that also take up a lot of space. That includes things such as decor, kitchenware, bedding, lamps, and small appliances. You might need some of those items, but you can likely scale back on some of them to better fit smaller accommodations, especially if you’re moving to a significantly smaller home.
Now’s a good time to look through your clothes, toiletries, and other personal items as well. It’s easy to accumulate lots of extras that you don’t need anymore. Scaling down on your belongings makes the move easier and starts you off in your new home without lots of clutter.
5. Pack Important Items Separately
The unpacking process can take some time, so you might not find everything you’ve packed right away. That’s fine for some things, but other items, such as your medication and assistive devices, are things you’ll need right away.
Pack those essential personal and medical items in a separate bag that you set aside, especially if you hire movers. Take those important items with you instead of letting them go in the moving truck.
This ensures you always know where those essential items are. You have immediate access to them when you arrive at your new senior living arrangements.
6. Make Your Room Your Own
Getting settled into your new home can make the transition easier to take. It can be sad to leave behind your old home, but personalizing your new senior living arrangements makes it feel like home.
Unpack the things you take with you as soon as possible. Get help from family if unpacking is difficult for you.
Hang pictures, put out decorations, and decorate your new home. You might add some new decorations or cozy additions, such as throw pillows and blankets, to make your new space feel fresh and welcoming.
7. Get Involved in the Community
Once you get moved in and settled, start getting involved in the activities and community amenities of the assisted living facilities. Start by becoming familiar with the community by walking or driving around the grounds. This gives you an idea of the layout and helps you learn more about the options.
Look for a schedule of activities if the facility offers organized events. They might have entertainment to watch or activities that you participate in.
Introduce yourself to your neighbors when you see them outside. This helps you feel like a part of the community and gives you more options for socializing. It can make the move seem easier and make you feel less lonely when you start to meet your fellow residents.
You can also venture out into the community in general to feel more at home, especially if the facility is in a different part of town. You might discover new stores, restaurants, parks, and points of interest if you take some time to explore.
Move to a Senior Living Facility Easily
The transition to a senior living facility can seem overwhelming. Taking it step by step and being strategic with your move can help reduce your stress levels and make the move smooth.
If you’re in the beginning stages of finding independent senior living in Westfield, contact us to learn more about the floor plans and luxury amenities we offer.