Moving is never easy, and the older we get, the harder these transitions can become. The combination of having accumulated a lifetime of personal belongings and the physical challenges that come with old age and illness can make it hard to move one’s entire life into another, smaller living space. It takes planning and work, so we’ve come up with a few hints to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Know what your loved one can and cannot bring with them into assisted living. If your loved one has pets they can’t bring with them, make arrangements for the pet to go to someone who will care for it. Your loved one will almost certainly be downsizing from their current home into assisted living, so you’ll need to decide what to bring along and what to leave behind. Get a list of everything that will be provided by the assisted living community so you can get an idea of what gaps will need to be filled in. Then you need to decide what to do with everything that stays behind. Will it go into storage? Get sold at an estate sale? Whatever you and your loved one decide to do, you’ll need to make arrangements, not only for them, but for all their stuff.
Pro tip: if the assisted living community is helping with laundry, be sure to label all your loved one’s clothes and sheets so they don’t get lost.
We know how tempting it is to try to do everything on your own, but that’s a recipe for burnout and resentment. Avoid falling into that trap by getting help. Make a list of everything that needs to be done (ideally you would have already done that during the planning phase) and ask friends, family and neighbors for help. The assisted living community that will become your loved one’s new home has had lots of practice with this, so be sure to ask them. If it’s not something they can help with directly, they’re sure to know someone who can.
Your loved one should be involved in every step of the process. Moving is always hard, so make it as easy as possible for them by letting them help you pack so you can ask them about keepsakes. Having them tell stories about their collections and pictures can be not only therapeutic for them, but eye opening for you.
When you’re moving everything into their new apartment, try to make it look as much like their former home as possible. Make sure the furniture, lamps, wall hangings, and knickknacks are all in the same or similar arrangement. Making the place feel as familiar as possible can help ease the transition.
Not only has your loved one just been placed in a new home, but they have also moved to an entirely new community where they might not know anyone. The effect can feel a lot like the first day of school, so help them adjust by reviewing the list of available activities and helping them pick out a few they like to make it easier for them to find people with similar interests. You can even attend a few events with them to see how it goes.
Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.
CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.