Moving to an Assisted Living Community
When you’re getting ready to move an aging loved one into an assisted living community, it’s important most of all to offer your support as he or she makes the transition to this new phase of life. Moving can be an overwhelming experience for anyone, but especially for seniors who are downsizing and possibly making some tough decisions about the belongings coming with them.
However, moving to assisted living actually promotes independence among seniors and provides the freedom they may have been missing. Life is simply easier in an assisted living community, and your loved one will have more time to do all the things he or she finds important.
Assisted Living Checklist: What to Pack
Before the moving day, if you can get a floor plan or the dimensions of the assisted living apartment you’ll find it much easier to begin the packing process. It’s important that your loved one is able to bring treasured belongings into their new living space, including favorite pieces of furniture and some cherished personal items. Knowing how much space you’ll have available will allow you to help your loved one make smarter decisions about what belongings can go along with them.
In general, these are the items you should plan on bringing with your loved one to the assisted living community:
- Sofa, chairs, end tables/nightstand
- Folding chairs for guests
- Kitchenware – dishes, glasses, cutlery
- Bedding- comforter, quilt, throw pillows
- Keepsakes and knick-knacks
- Framed photos and artwork
It’s important to make the environment as “home-like” as possible for your loved one, but don’t over-pack these belongings. The new living space will likely be smaller than what they’re accustomed to, so make sure to identify which items are the most important.
- Appliances (if not provided) – mini-fridge, coffeemaker, microwave
- Alarm clock
- Clothes hangers
- Assistive devices- eyeglasses, hearing aids, canes/walkers
- Cleaning wipes for quick clean-ups
- TV and radio
- Favorite books and magazines
Some necessities can be provided by the assisted living community, so check first to see what might already be available to your loved one.
- Comfortable clothing- sweats, jeans, sweaters
- Pajamas and robe
- Jackets and warm coat
- Formal outfits for special occasions
Bring a variety of clothing styles for the climate in which your loved one will be residing.
- List of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Soap and shampoo
Again, most assisted living communities provide residents with a variety of services and amenities, so get a list detailing what will be offered before going on a special shopping trip for toiletries.
Create New Memories in the Assisted Living Community
Help create a familiar setting for your loved one in the assisted living community by placing items in the room where your loved one is used to seeing them. For example, set up the nightstand with the same clock and framed photos that were in the home. Bring a favorite recliner or beloved quilt, and display favorite knick-knacks around the room.
Remember, the staff is also there to help your loved one settle in. Find out who the main point of contact would be in case of emergency, especially if you don’t live near the community.