Whether you have been living in independent living or a home outside of a senior living community, transitioning to assisted living can seem intimidating. Although these feelings are natural, preparation can ease the transition.
This “Moving to Assisted Living Checklist” will help you prepare for the move and show you a few ways to acclimate to your new home as soon as you arrive.
Preparing for the Move
You’ve spent a lot of time deciding if assisted living is the right choice for you.
If you’re transitioning from independent living to assisted living within the same WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living, you can rest assured that you will see the same team members, stay connected to all of your friends, and have access to the same dining spaces, amenities, and programming.
On the other hand, moving to a community for the first time is exciting but requires careful planning. Here are a few tips to help you navigate this transition:
1. Learn about assisted living in each community of interest.
Selecting the right community is a big decision, so take time to research multiple communities in your area.
Once you’ve identified a few communities you could see yourself living in, take tours to get a sense of the dining, programming, amenities, and social environment. You can learn more about the overall feeling of each community by asking caregivers, team members, and current residents the right questions.
You will also want a clear understanding of the pricing model of the community you choose. Read this article from the WesleyLife team to learn about entry fees, monthly service fees, and cost comparisons.
If you are transitioning from independent living to assisted living within a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living, coordinate a time to meet with a team member to learn more about what you can expect from your move.
2. Be deliberate and efficient with what you pack.
Are you wondering what to bring to assisted living? The rule of thumb is to bring personal items and decide to keep or part with larger pieces of furniture. Although most assisted living apartments require you to furnish the space, consider the size of your new home. If you are downsizing, donate, sell, or give away larger pieces of furniture to friends and family.
In addition to essential items — such as toiletries, medications, clothing, and bedding — remember to bring precious personal belongings. Framed photographs of friends and family, original pieces of artwork, houseplants, and other important items will help make your new home your own.
Be sure to leave plenty of space for new belongings that hold new memories!
3. Take care of logistical items at your home.
Although it’s not the most exciting part of this transition, you should create a list of all the logistical items you need to handle. This list might include:
- Selling your home and large pieces of furniture, if applicable
- Canceling ongoing utility services
- Updating your mailing address
- Registering to vote
You can also request assistance from a team member in your new community or someone in your family or support system. Don’t hesitate to delegate these tasks. After all, preparing to move into your new home should be exciting, not insurmountable!
4. Prepare for all of the transitions.
Be sure to allow time and space to emotionally prepare for the transition. If you’re leaving a home you have lived in for a long time, it can be difficult to leave behind so many meaningful memories. It’s normal to feel emotional about moving.
Take time to reminisce with close friends and family by looking over photos, watching videos of family get-togethers, and spending quality time in your home.
As with any move, this is a fun opportunity to get creative and re-imagine what you want your new home — and the next chapter of your life — to look like. To start, buy some new furniture, hang up photos or artwork, or do anything else to make the home feel like home before your first day.
Getting Acclimated to Your New Home
Acclimating to a new community takes time. Although preparing for the move is likely top of mind, be sure to make a plan to integrate yourself into your new community.
If you’re moving into a community for the first time, here are a few tips to get started:
1. Meet your neighbors.
One of the greatest benefits of community living is the friendly faces of your new neighbors. They just might become your newest walking buddies!
Your neighbors are always nearby, whether you’re living in an apartment or a townhome. Make plans to get to know each other and share stories over coffee or a meal.
2. Meet with caregivers and other team members.
Meeting your caregivers and team members is one of the first things you’ll do when you arrive in your new community. You might meet them at a “new resident” breakfast or reception.
Remember: Caregivers are there to make you feel comfortable and at home, so be sure to ask any questions as they arise.
3. Partake in community events and programming.
In the right community, your days will be filled with opportunities for well-being, cultural events, and all the programming a campus has to offer.
It’s a good idea to have a few social occasions and events planned before you move so that you have plenty to look forward to.
4. Stay involved with the surrounding community.
Do you enjoy volunteering, visiting art galleries, or watching local theater? How about spending time walking in nature? Whatever activities you enjoy doing in the surrounding area, make sure to keep up the habit.
In fact, according to research conducted by the National Institute of Aging, older adults who participate in enjoyable activities are more likely to be happy, live longer lives, and avoid certain diseases.
5. Stay in touch with loved ones.
Just as one should in any stage of life, stay in contact with family and friends. Consider scheduling a monthly call with those who are distant or a meal with those who are close.
You can also invite them to stay for the night in your new home and show them all the wonderful things your community has to offer!
Experience Life at a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living
Whether you’re moving into your first senior living community or from one level of living to another, assisted living at a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living is about independence with just the right amount of care.
Take the next step toward a supported, engaging life by learning more about assisted living at WesleyLife.