Moving into an assisted living or elderly community can be a challenging time for your parents or grandparents. By being supportive and strategic, you can ease the process for your loved ones. Below are some helpful tips to assist with making the moving process a little easier, whether you do it yourself, or use a residential mover.
Do your research and selection way ahead of time. There may be waiting lists so it’s a good idea to do the research months or a year in advance of when the move is needed.
Determine what your needs are and prioritize them. Location, amenities, levels of care, meal plans, social events, and economics are all items to consider when determining the best fit for your loved one. Even demographics (if a facility has primarily WWII vets, or if they specialize in Dementia, Parkinson’s disease etc.) will help make the decision. Let your loved one participate in the decision process. It will make the process smoother for everyone and they will not feel as much resentment in the long run.
Once you have decided on a new home, find out what you need. Is it furnished or is furniture needed? Can art work be hung? Being able to bring as much as possible from a previous residence makes it homier. Familiarity and comfort can make the transition easier.
It’s more work but do a floor plan to scale, to make sure everything will fit. Having to leave behind grandma’s favorite victrola because it didn’t fit would be stressful. The process will also speed the move in so everyone can get acclimated more quickly. Some communities have floor plan designers or computerized programs that will help you determine what will fit and will work with you in doing so.
PACKING AND PREPARATION FOR THE MOVE:
Either get professional movers or assist in the purge and pack process. Not only is packing physically taxing, it can be an emotional strain. Work with your loved one to pack and prep necessary items and discard what isn’t needed. It will help make the task less overwhelming.
Make sure everything is confirmed before your move in day. If you are using residential movers, or if you need to confirm with the new building, etc. so there are no last minute surprises. Check with the building coordinator if elevators need to be reserved, or pads and protection need to be put up before your move in can happen. Confirmations in writing or by email are good, followed up by a phone call the day before can confirm all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.
VISITS AND CONTACT:
Once your loved one is moved in, it’s a good idea to set up a schedule of regular visits. It’s something that everyone can plan for and look forward to. Remember resistance to this type of move can happen. Being organized and planning well can help the transition go as smooth as possible.