How to Make a Successful Transition to Assisted Living

Sunrise Senior Living  |  June 2, 2020

If you or a senior loved one is preparing to move to an assisted living community, you might be a little overwhelmed. With so many details to handle and decisions to make, it’s easy to understand why. Even if you feel confident you are making a move that best fits your needs, you may still experience anxiety.

As your family prepares for this new chapter in life, we have a few suggestions to help the transition go more smoothly.

3 Tips for Making a Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

1. Don’t try to downsize the house in a hurry.

It is easy to underestimate how exhausting it is to downsize a home you’ve lived in for years. You’ll probably have to sell some belongings in an estate or garage sale, donate unneeded items to charity, and pack the things that will be going with you or the senior. That takes time.

If you or your older family member has lived in the house for a long time, parting ways with it can be emotional. Giving yourselves time to reminisce as you sort through family photos and mementos can make this time more meaningful and positive for everyone.

Unless this move is being made amid a crisis, don’t try to downsize the whole house in a weekend. Setting more realistic goals can help you avoid unnecessary stress and potential family squabbles.

2. Plan carefully for moving day.

Start the transition off right by planning ahead for moving day. Create a box of necessities, such as a coffee pot, filters, and coffee. Also put together a suitcase with valuables, medications, toiletries, and other personal care items you’ll need right away.

Some seniors find it helpful to designate a loved one or hire a senior move manager to oversee the movers. Then, the older adult is free to get lunch or head over to the assisted living community while the movers pack up.

3. Make the new apartment look like home.

It can be tempting to sell your current belongings and buy new, especially if you are moving a long distance. But that can make it harder to settle into your new home. Having an apartment that looks and feels familiar may make it easier to settle in and feel at home.

Try to decorate the new apartment with favorite furniture and décor. A favorite chair to watch television in, family photos, and other treasures can make the new place feel like home from the first day.

View Sunrise’s podcast Senior Friendly Design: Customizing your Senior Living Residence which provide listeners with tips on tailoring senior living space based on personal needs. This includes how to personalize bedrooms and living areas with pictures and memories of loved ones, and how to use a variety of textures and materials, particularly for seniors who are experiencing limited vision or memory loss.

If interested in moving to a Sunrise community, please consult with the community to better understand the rules and required infection control measures in place as we continue to safeguard residents and team members from the spread of COVID-19.