Making the move to senior living can be one of the best decisions a senior makes. It’s a time of new beginnings, new friendships, and a new carefree lifestyle. To make the move to senior living a success, take some time to prepare well in advance with these tips.
Compare living spaces – Once a senior living community is chosen, the next step is to use a floor plan of the new home to assess what furniture, appliances and other possessions will be making the move to senior living. Since most senior living housing is smaller than the average family home, this will require measuring and attention to detail so that everything that is chosen will actually fit.
For those who want to take the comparison to the next level, floorplan software can help arrange furniture to make the most of the space long before the move date. Take a look at some of the options in the learn.g2.com blog, “11 Best Free Floor Plan Software Tools.”
Line up help – Scheduling help with the move to senior living is an important, often essential part of the plan. Arranging ahead of time for help with downsizing (at Thrive, we call this “right-sizing”) as well as packing and moving will make for a smoother move overall. Start with family and friends who are often willing to pitch in and lend a hand and let them know when they will be needed. If no one is available, consider hiring a senior move manager who is trained and certified.
For the big day, a professional moving company (or if your own help is available, a moving truck) will often be needed to make the move to senior living. In many areas, moving and truck rental companies are very busy so the sooner you reserve a spot on their calendar the better. For long-distance moves the move.org blog, “Best Long-Distance Moving Companies 2022” is a great resource. For local moves try the forbes.com article, “How To Choose Local Moving Companies.”
Downsize – Perhaps the biggest job when planning a move to senior living is that of downsizing, or as we like to call it at Thrive, “rightsizing.” Closets, cupboards, basements, garages, and attics all hold decades of “stuff” that is no longer needed or used. For seniors with families, this is the time to offer items to kids and grandkids who can use them. The remainder can be sold, donated to charity, recycled, or thrown away. It is a big job that will take time but our blog, “Tips for Downsizing Your Home“ can help make it much easier.
Pack – Packing for a move to senior living should be an organized and methodical endeavor so that unpacking is quick and easy. Start by gathering all the tools you will need including different size boxes and bins, packing tape, a box cutter, bubble wrap or packing paper, labels and a permanent marker. Begin packing nonessentials as early as possible and label each container by contents and room where it will be used (i.e., kitchen, bedroom, etc.). Be sure to pack so that boxes aren’t too heavy by mixing heavy items like glass with items made of lighter materials such as fabric or plastic. Very fragile or valuable items should be packed carefully and if possible moved by a trusted family member, so they aren’t damaged or lost. To ensure the safety of medications and important documents, store them in a suitcase or box that can stay with you rather than going on the truck. For more great tips for making packing a breeze, check out the realsimple.com article, “18 Moving and Packing Tips for Your Smoothest Move Yet.”
Change addresses – In all the hustle and bustle of a move to senior living, it’s easy to forget one very important step: changing your address. Everyone you know, everyone you are serviced by and everyone you pay for services will need a new address before you move from the old one. This will include:
Also, don’t forget to transfer prescriptions to a pharmacy near the new address before you move, and to place an order to turn off utilities after the move is complete.
A move to senior living is a chance to realize the retirement lifestyle you always dreamed of, and at Thrive Senior Living we stand ready to make moving in as easy as possible. Find out everything you need to know about making a move to senior living in our Family Decision Guide. Learn more about our communities, housing choices and amenities by contacting us today!