When your elderly relative is transitioning to assisted living, it is essential to provide them with your support and understanding. The move can be daunting, especially as they might have to downsize and make some difficult choices about their possessions.
Although this change may seem intimidating, it enhances their independence and gives your loved ones or your newfound freedom. Assisted living communities make life easier, giving your loved ones more time to focus on the things that are important to them.
This blog post provides a checklist for moving into assisted living to make the transition as easy and stress-free as possible for you and your family.
Step #1. Access the Healthcare Needs
Addressing healthcare needs should be at the top of your “moving into a care home checklist”.
- Make an appointment with your primary healthcare physician: Get a physical checkup, obtain up-to-date copies of your medical records, and speak with your doctor about your move. If you’re moving to a new area, ask your doctor to provide a referral for a doctor nearby.
- Get Your Medication in Order: Check with the facility if they accept bottled medication. If so, order your prescriptions ahead of time and give them to the nursing staff. You’ll likely have to go through the facility’s pharmacy if they don't accept bottled medicines.
Step #2. Hiring Movers for Seniors
Depending on your circumstances, hiring a moving company with experience in senior citizen relocations may be beneficial.
Here are some essential steps to help you choose the right company:
- Read reviews online. Create a list of the best options.
- Get cost estimates. Always ask about any additional fees.
- Make sure the moving company is available on the desired move-in date. Also, find out about their contingency plan for bad weather.
- Confirm the company is licensed and insured. You’ll have greater peace of mind knowing your items are protected and safe from damage.
- Ask for proof the movers can relocate heavy and specialty items. Don’t accept vague answers. The company should have a track record of moving artworks, pianos, antiques, and such. At Alliance Moving & Storage, we have boxes specially designed to transport fragile goods, as well as a robust track record of furniture disassembly and reassembly.
Step #3. Make Arrangements for Logistics
Before moving your loved one to assisted living, make sure to tick these logistical concerns off your senior living checklist:
1. Set up mail forwarding with the US Postal Service. Arrange with the assisted living community’s front desk or concierge to hold your mail or packages until the move-in date.
2. Cancel current utility services. If necessary, you can transfer Wi-Fi and cellphone contracts to your new location.
3. Contact people or companies that have your loved one’s old address. Some examples include creditors, insurance companies, healthcare providers, lawyers, financial services, subscription services, shopping websites, and the Social Security Administration.
4. Program your calendar with important events. Laundry days, housekeeping, hair salon days, social activities, wellness classes, etc., at the community.
5. Plan end-of-life details. While no one likes to think of such inevitabilities, estate planning, living will, DNR orders, and power of attorney designations are important to ensure your wishes are carried out, and they eradicate unnecessary familial stress. Make sure to provide the necessary individuals with a copy of this information.
Step #4. Research the New Place
It helps to research the new space before asking, “what should I bring to assisted living?”.
Layout planning is critical when moving your loved one into a new home. First, ask for a copy of the room layout and the community's floor plan. Make sure to look for multiple buildings or wings and multiple floors. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the community's items and any rules or prohibited items.
You can also list must-have furniture items and compare them to the room's layout. Measure the wall space, too; you may only be able to bring some of their framed art and photos if the area is limited. Finally, plan out the room's layout before the move to help ease anxieties.
Actionable tasks to put on your assisted living checklist:
- Ask for a copy of your loved one’s room layout and the community’s floor plan.
- Ask for a list of items the community provides, such as linen, bedding, and toiletries.
- Find out if there are any prohibited items. For example, what is their pet policy?
- Measure the furniture and items you wish to take against the room’s layout.
Step #5. Pack for Assisted Living Move
Unsure of what to take to an assisted living apartment? Your loved one should bring their most valued possessions - from beloved furniture to special personal items - to their new living space. Knowing the amount of available space will help you make wise choices about their nursing home packing list.
Furniture & Keepsakes
When transitioning your loved one to a new living space, it is important to make the environment as comfortable and home-like as possible. Adding these essential items to your moving checklist for seniors will make them feel more at home.
- Sofa, chairs, end tables/nightstand
- Folding chairs for guests
- Kitchenware - dishes, glasses, cutlery
- Bedding - comforter, quilt, throw pillows
- Keepsakes and knick-knacks
- Framed photos and artwork
Necessities & Appliances
The assisted living community may provide some necessities, so check first to see what is already available to your loved one.
- Appliances - mini-fridge, coffeemaker, microwave
- Alarm clock
- Clothes hangers
- Assistive devices- eyeglasses, hearing aids, canes/walkers
- Cleaning wipes for quick clean-ups
- TV and radio
- Favorite books and magazines
Pack a range of outfits suitable for the weather in the area your loved one is living in
- Comfortable clothing - sweats, jeans, sweaters
- Pajamas and robe
- Jackets and warm coat
- Formal outfits for special occasions
Again, before going on a special shopping trip for toiletries, get a list detailing the services and amenities offered by the assisted living community, as some of them provide toiletries.
To start, you’ll want to pack the following:
- List of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Soap and shampoo
Step #6. After the Move
It is important to remember that your loved one is still in control of their life. Taking the time to make them feel safe and secure in their new home goes a long way in easing the transition into their new lifestyle.
Staying in touch with texts, pictures, and calls can help bridge the gap between the two homes. Coordinating visits with other family members and close friends can also create a sense of community and make your loved one feel supported and connected.
Bringing personal items to keep their new home feeling homey will help your loved one feel at home in their new environment. Lastly, respecting their space and allowing them to explore and make new friends is essential. Overall, whether you are moving a loved one or are the person moving to assisted living, it can be a great experience offering independence to live a full life, while receiving support when needed.
Following the six steps outlined in this blog, taking the proper precautions, and drawing up an assisted living facility checklist, can make the transition to assisted living much smoother. From researching the best-assisted living facility for your loved ones' needs to getting to know the staff and other residents, planning your or your loved one’s move helps everyone feel more secure and comfortable.
And remember, if you need help moving belongings, Alliance Moving & Storage is here to assist. Our assisted living movers are experienced in senior citizen relocations. We're fully licensed and insured and capable of handling the relocation or just the areas you need the most help with. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation moving estimate.