After researching and weighing your options, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief. You did it! You selected your future home. Finding the right senior living community is a huge accomplishment, and is certainly worth celebrating. Now that you have taken a moment to rejoice over your decision, you will want to begin planning your next steps. In order to make your move as smooth as possible, we put together a checklist of practical tips, logistics, and other things you may not think of until the last minute.
Sorting and Downsizing
Anyone with previous moving experience knows that the more items you have, the more complicated the move—not to mention, if you are moving from a larger house to something with less living space. Because it can be an emotional undertaking, begin the process of sorting and downsizing as soon as possible. Decide which items hold the most meaning and will make your new living arrangements truly feel like home. Select useful, sturdy furniture that maximizes usable space. Opt for practicality over aesthetics, when necessary—you will likely have a difficult time squeezing in a dining table and a full set of chairs.
Take the guesswork out of planning by requesting a floor plan from your community representative ahead of time. Ask them if any items will be provided, so as to avoid bringing unnecessary duplicates, and be sure to inquire about community rules specific to living areas. Do they have restrictions on allowed furniture or decorations? You have likely already inquired about a pet policy if you are planning on bringing a furry friend, but this is an excellent time to determine usable floor space for your companion to roam.
When it comes to moving, packing is one of those to-do list items that can sneak right up on you. It seems like you have plenty of time to get the job done, but the reality is that it can take much longer than you realize, and waiting until the last minute to begin can be incredibly stressful. Give yourself one less thing to worry about by starting early and staying organized. Packing a little bit every day will feel less overwhelming, just be sure to label each box clearly with its contents. Labeling should also include furniture that will be coming with you, to avoid confusion for those helping you to move.
Begin with items that are used less frequently, or are specific to a certain time of year. If you have chosen to move during the summertime, there is no reason to keep out those winter coats and mittens! Do you have a hobby or craft that occupies some of your free time? Pack away all but your current project. This allows you to keep your supplies in a centralized location, while also giving you a relaxing option when you need a break from packing.
Set aside a “move-in day” box for daily necessities such as toiletries, medications, and a change of clothes, as well as bed linens, important documents, and cleaning supplies. Be sure to include charging cables for electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and e-readers, especially if your downsizing included transferring to a digital library.
Speaking of moving, have you decided on a moving company yet? You need a reliable company with availability on your specific move-in date, and you will want to get cost estimates ahead of time to factor into your moving budget. Get a head start now—ask your future senior community for recommendations, and read online reviews. The more you prepare, the easier move-in day will be.
Whether you are moving to a familiar part of town, or a senior community further away, there are several logistical considerations to address before making the move. Oftentimes we remember to submit a change of address with the post office, but that is just the beginning. Make sure to update your address with anyone who may need it. This may include banks, Social Security, Veteran Affairs, or the DMV, but be sure to include family and friends! You are moving to a senior community where you will meet a variety of new people, but it is important to stay connected with loved ones, and it will make for an easier transition.
If you are moving out of the area, you might also need to find a new physician or specialist, in addition to transferring any prescriptions to a closer pharmacy. Some senior communities may include these services on campus, so it helps to ask ahead of time.
Sunset is Here to Help
Whether this is your first move or your fifth, moving into senior living does require a certain amount of preparation. Not only are you likely experiencing a wide range of emotions, but there are many practical considerations to include. Here at Sunset, we know what the process is like—our experienced team has been helping seniors like you for years! If you have any questions about moving into our senior community, we are more than happy to help. Give us a call at 616.457.2770.