For seniors moving into an assisted living home or facility it can be an extremely stressful, daunting, and even scary experience. As their first assisted living facility, there are a lot of unknowns, and for those moving from their own home, there will be a real adjustment to be made. With that said, the whole process can go smoothly and even be a positive experience if the right steps and tips are taken.
To help make your move or that of your senior parent into an assisted living facility as smooth as possible, here’s the ultimate checklist that you can refer to. Think of it as your blueprint that will help eliminate any potential issues and questions.
Start Your Research Well in Advance
The very best and most important tip is to start your research as far in advance as possible. The more time you allow for researching different facilities, asking questions, and touring the grounds, the more confident you will feel in your decision. There’s also the fact that just because you have your eye on a facility that meets all your needs, it doesn’t mean there is available space. Often these facilities can have wait lists, so it’s best to get on it as early as possible.
So, exactly how early should you start looking? You want to give yourself months of advance notice if at all possible. It’s not unheard of for some wait lists to be a year or more.
What Kind of Assisted Living Services Do You Need?
It’s very important that you identify early on what kind of assisted living services you need. This will differ from person to person, so you need to be sure that any facility you are considering will meet your requirements. It’s also a good idea to think about future needs. Will it be able to meet your future needs should you require more help and more assistance? You probably don’t want to have to move to a different assisted living community or residence, so making sure there is room to expand the assistance you need is wise.
Set Up a Tour of the Residence
You may also want to set up tours of multiple residences to help you in your decision-making process. Getting to tour the places in-person, meet with the staff, chat with other residences, take a look at the rooms, explore the grounds, and the amenities can make you much more confident in your choice. It will also help you to figure out the space available in your room, and therefore what you can bring with you.
You can check out The Terraces at Via Verde operated by Frontier Management in-person, for example, and tour the entire facility to get that true sense of what the residence would offer. Because there may be a lot of information to take in, it’s a good idea that you are accompanied by a family member or close friend who can also ask questions and be there to absorb all the information. Bringing along another person is imperative for anyone suffering from memory related problems.
Discuss and Plan for Your Specific Healthcare Needs
Once you have chosen an assisted living facility, it’s important to meet with your primary care physician to plan for your medical needs such as medications and other needs. The facility will be able to coordinate your medical and health care plans with your doctor, taking all that stress and responsibility off your shoulders.
Start Packing and Preparing for the Move
The next step is to start the packing process. Seniors will probably need or appreciate help with this process. The packing process will most likely also include decluttering, as there may not be enough space to bring everything. It’s also a good recommendation to hire professional movers for the actual move day. They can load and unload all the items so that no-one else has to worry about the heavy lifting. It just makes the day of the move a lot easier and much less stressful. If you are looking to save money on the movers, be sure to schedule it for mid-week. Weekends tend to be the busiest time, making it harder to book the movers and more expensive.
Just be sure that, whatever moving company you hire, they are fully insured and licensed so that you are protected should anything happen to your belongings during the move.
For seniors who are having a hard time downsizing and decluttering, there are senior living moving specialists that you can contact that can give really useful advice on what to pack and what to let go of. If you don’t want to work with a moving specialist, inquire to see if the assisted living facility has a point person who can help determine what is and isn’t needed in terms of packing.
Some of the items that seniors tend to pack and bring with them include:
- Clothing, mainly casual clothing
- Personal toiletries
- Personal decor items to give a touch of familiarity to their room such as photos, artwork, figurines, keepsakes, and so forth
- Bedding (sheets, comforter, duvet, pillows, and decorative throws)
- Small furniture items such as lamps, a small table, chairs, and a sofa (depending on how much space they will have in their room)
To note, some facilities may allow small appliances such as a microwave, coffeemaker, and mini-fridge. It’s best to ask about these items in advance.
Expect Moving Day to Be a Bit Emotional
Finally, it’s wise to expect that moving day will be a bit of an emotional day. Even with the help of a mover, there are still bound to be a number of emotions you will feel as you move into your new home. When family members realize this, they will show compassion, support, and patience to help make the day much smoother.
So, as you prepare to move into your new assisted living facility, these tips and steps can help you to ensure the process goes as seamlessly as possible.