When you or a loved one is planning on moving into assisted living, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to happen before moving day. That’s to be expected. Even when it’s a welcome and necessary change, it’s a demanding process, both physically and emotionally.
Getting organized and planning ahead will help make the process more manageable for everyone involved. Take one day at a time and create a step-by-step list to guide you.
Set a realistic timeline.
Trying to accomplish too much too quickly can make the moving process more stressful and strenuous than it has to be. Ideally, you should give yourself several months (if not longer) to sort your belongings, mentally prepare for the move and prepare for the next chapter of your life.
Prepare to sell your home.
Assuming you still own property, selling your house is one of the biggest tasks to navigate. Unless you already know a reputable real estate agent, one of your first steps will be to begin interviewing agents who can help you list your home. Start with referrals from family and friends.
Once you select an agent, they can walk you through the selling process from start to finish, including identifying any repairs that need to be made prior to listing, how to prepare for showings, what to expect at closing and so on.
You’ll also need to take care of practical household matters like forwarding your mail, canceling utilities and updating important contacts such as creditors, attorneys and your bank with your new address.
Make plans for your belongings.
Moving to a senior living community often means downsizing from a family home, where you may have a lifetime of memories filling every room. You can begin to pare down furniture by comparing your new floor plan to your current one and eliminating pieces that won’t fit.
Then go room by room, evaluating what you’d like to keep, give to loved ones, donate and sell. It’s a good idea to start in a small room with few sentimental contents, such as a bathroom, so you can perfect your system before moving on to more emotionally laden areas.
You may need to get creative to take all your memories with you. For example, if you have a large collection, you might keep a few prized items and photograph the rest to display in your new apartment.
Once you’ve sorted the entire house, enlist help from loved ones (or even professionals) to transport items you want to donate and organize the things you want to sell so you can earn top dollar. Similarly, look for help packing what remains. This can be a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones, sharing stories and memories connected to items as you pack them.
Remember to set aside a bag or two of essentials, including toiletries, medication and clothing, to get you through the first few days before you’re fully settled into your new place. Tuck important paperwork, such as your will and financial records, into a safe place so they don’t get misplaced in the move.
Give yourself some grace.
Any move is a major adjustment. Even if you’re excited about moving into assisted living, it can be an emotional time as you reflect on your life and prepare for a fresh start. Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions. Talking about your worries or concerns with loved ones can help ease your mind.
Take stock of your needs.
Remember that the ultimate goal of moving into an assisted living community is getting additional support to help improve your quality of life. You can help your new senior care team get a strong start by organizing your health records, including details about any existing diagnoses or conditions, medication and other long-term care needs. Schedule check-ups with your regular providers so they can provide recommendations and information to support your transition, including preparing medical records for you to share with a new provider, if necessary.
This is also a good time to think about areas where you could use a helping hand. Assisted living offers support for activities of daily living, like grooming, bathing, dressing and other personal tasks. The care team at your new assisted living community will work closely with you and your family to learn how they can help you achieve greater independence.
Move Toward More Independence
Making a plan for moving into assisted living can be an important step toward preserving your (or your loved one’s) independence. At Legacy Pointe at UCF, residents have access to state-of-the-art assisted living services, including progressive wellness programs. Our team works with residents to customize support for each resident, so you can count on as much, or as little, help as you need to enjoy each day.
We understand moving into a senior living community can be a big change, and our team is ready to work closely with you and your loved ones to ensure a smooth transition. Get in touch so we can introduce you to the neighborhood.