When you decide it's time to transition to an assisted living community, there are more than a few steps along this path to take care of. Choosing what comes with you, packing, and taking care of all the small logistical tasks of moving may be both challenging and tiring to you or your loved one.
Fortunately, there are many tactics that can reduce the burden. Here at Weatherly Inn, we can help make this transition smoother and more enjoyable. One of your best tools is an "assisted living checklist" that you can cross off as you go along to ensure that all your tasks and concerns are taken care of along the way.
1) Consider What Will Help You Feel at Home
The most important thing about this transition, other than having everything you need to be comfortable, is feeling at home without overcrowding your living apartment. Moving into assisted living is a careful process, but it's also one we can help you with. Read this article about how to transition the activities and items you love into your new home.
2) Find or Update Your Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance helps you cover the expenses of an assisted living facility, as well as the services beyond assisted living should you need them. Update current insurance or look into opening a policy. This is essential to act upon in case your level of care changes to memory care or other senior care options.
3) The Furniture That Will Be Coming With You
Considering the size and floorplan of your new living space, carefully choose the furniture you will take with you. Make your choice based on both the furniture that will feel most like home and a practical home lifestyle.
- Side Table
- Small Dining Table
- TV Stand/Entertainment System
4) The Electric Items and Tech You Will Bring
'Home' to us is defined by a surprising number of electronic items. Which electronics do you want to bring with you that will matter day-to-day in your new place?
- Electric Toothbrush
- Alarm Clock
- Small Vacuum
- Battery Charger
- Phones, Tablets, and Computers
5) Medications and Toiletries
Packing your medications and toiletries is a critical step. Consider packing in purpose-based bags or your travel toiletry kit.
- Medical Gear
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Hearing Aid
- Shampoo, Conditioner, Bodywash
- Bath Supplies
- Personal Care Items
6) The Clothing and Accessories for Your New Wardrobe
Choose a comprehensive selection of clothes for all seasons, but only from your best and favorite clothes. It's also OK to buy new clothes if you decide.
- Socks and Undergarments
- Variety of Shoes
- Clothes Hangers
7) Paperwork, Documents, and Photo Albums
You probably have a file box or two of papers and documents that need to be kept. Take this time to scan everything important and pack any paperwork and photo albums.
- Scan Documents
- Pack Paperwork Tightly
- Photo Albums
8) Items of Comfort and Practicality
Now think about the little details of a lifestyle, things that you always forget in a new home until you need them. Extra throw-blankets for the couch and bed for chilly nights and cozy evening reading. Small trashcans near every place you sit. Pack these next.
- Extra pillows and throw blankets
- Tissue Boxes and Paper Towel Holders
- Cleaning Supplies
- Organizing Baskets and Bowls
- Stick-On Wall Hooks
- Shower Caddy
9) Decorative Touches for the Apartment
Now you've covered all the practical bases, but what about decoration? Moving to a retirement community, you want your new place to look as welcoming as your current home. Command strips can allow you to mount things on the walls safely without holes or paint damage.
- Paintings and Wall Art
- Windchimes and Stained Glass Window Decor
- Vases and Decorative Bowls
- Potted Plants
- Decorative Blankets
- A Bulletin Board
- Fridge Magnets
- Table Runners
10) Officially Change Your Address
Now that you're mostly packed, it's time to take one of the final steps and register your change of address.
- Forward your mail and change your address with the post office
- Change your address with all banks and financial accounts
- Update your address for online accounts and services
Send a change-of-address notification to communities you belong to
11) Select Sentimental and Entertainment Items
Now that your mind is thinking about the move being final, you'll likely be thinking about everything you'll miss. Now is the right time to pack your favorite sentimental items and anything you'll want to entertain yourself on rainy days and quiet stay-in days in your new apartment.
- Keepsakes and knickknacks
- Music collection
- Framed Family Photos
- Playing Cards
- Book Collection
12) Schedule the Moving Truck
You should now be mostly packed and ready to work on a tighter schedule. It's time to call for the moving truck. A moving truck schedule will help you wrap up the process without drawing out your final decisions and to make a firm transition when it's time. You might even consider hiring a moving company to help transition to the new space.
13) Wrap Up With Smaller Items You Will Bring
Keep one box open for smaller items you'll want to grab in your final wrap-up. You may realize that even with restaurant dining, you want your spice collection, for example. Now is the time to pack the things your mind only remembers at the last minute.
14) Start Thinking About a Storage Unit
Things you don't want to bring, but you do want to keep for a long time, should go into a special category in your mind — designated for long-term accessible storage. Things you care about most should be packed up and taken care of in climate-controlled personal storage. Research units and pricing near your assisted living home.
15) Move In and Arrange Your New Home
When you move into your new assisted living home, it's time to make the once-empty apartment your own. Arrange the furniture in a way that feels welcoming and optimizes the space and light in the rooms. Use personal items and decorative touches to rebuild that feeling of home in your new place. In addition to a cozy furniture arrangement, every throw blanket and family photo will make your place feel more like home.
16) Make a Final Trip for Anything You Forgot
One of the great things about the transition process is that you don't have to do it all in one trip. If you remembered a few small things you left at your house, you can go back for a final tour and gather any remaining items to finalize your move.
17) Put Off Big Decisions Until You Are Settled In
The last item on your list is to get settled in. Moving can be stressful, even with a checklist, assistance from your family members, and new community. Give yourself time to relax and get used to your new home. In this time, put off any big decisions until you are fully settled.
During this transition, don't worry about what to do with your house. Give yourself at least a month before worrying about your home. That time will help you clear your head to make the best decisions.
Transitioning your life to a new apartment in an assisted living community is a complex, multi-step process. Having a game plan and a checklist to stick to can make this transition so much easier because you will be sure that nothing is forgotten.
Our Weatherly Inn staff love to help people with the transition to assisted living, and we'll be glad to help you in any way we can. Download our Guide to Senior Living eBook to best prepare yourself for this transition. With a little forethought and help from our staff, your transition can be an easy and enjoyable experience instead of a stressful one. Contact us to find out more about Weatherly Inn or how to make your transition to assisted living easier. We look forward to hearing from you.