Many new opportunities come with the golden years of life – retirement, more free time and new adventures in new places. Many seniors are excited to spend time trying new hobbies, traveling and spending more time with family members and friends. There are also opportunities to change daily activities, reduce daily stressors and find ways to channel energies toward fun activities and hobbies rather than chores and home maintenance. A living arrangement change is one of the most common transitions for older adults following retirement.
While the discussion around moving into a senior living community happens at different times for everyone, the conversation usually surrounds the same general topics – safety, socialization and health care. So, when is the best time to move to independent living or an assisted living community?
Senior living communities are different from what they used to be, with movie theaters, pools, personal trainers, golf courses, social events and chef-prepared meals. The short answer is that moving sooner rather than later creates more opportunities for quality-of-life benefits. Even if a senior is still safe living at home, moving into a senior living community can create social opportunities, remove the burden of household and yard maintenance and provide a safe place as their health and abilities change over the years. However, for some families, the discussion does not come up until there are concerns about their loved one’s health or safety. Here are a few of the signs family members may look for when deciding it is time for their loved one to move to a senior living community:
- A change in mobility
- Inability to complete daily chores
- Struggles with the activities of daily living
- Mismanagement of finances
- A new health diagnosis
- Mental or physical health changes
- Growing isolation
Once a family has decided that a move to a senior living community is the right choice and the ideal community is selected, it is time to talk about making the transition!
Moving Tips and Tricks
Planning a move can be overwhelming at any stage of life; there are so many things to organize and changes to facilitate. To help things go as smoothly as possible, here are some moving tips and tricks for seniors and their families:
Planning ahead can help to avoid unexpected stress and unexpected expenses. For example, notify all necessary parties of the pending change of address, and find a sensible way to transport and protect important documents. Planning ahead also helps to ensure all family members are prepared when the day comes.
Create a checklist to prioritize tasks.
Whether you’re moving across the country or into a senior living community, the moving process is a stressful activity! Creating a moving checklist will help prioritize tasks, ensure all tasks are completed and create a timeline for getting everything done before the big day.
Consider hiring a professional moving company.
No matter how many supportive family members are ready to help, moving is physically and mentally taxing. There are also moving tips and tricks mastered by professionals that can keep fragile items safe. Consider hiring a professional moving company to do the heavy lifting!
Declutter and downsize.
Both downsizing and decluttering are useful tools for creating a more organized moving experience. This ensures that the necessary items are packed and transported, while outdated or unnecessary items are not hauled from place to place.
Strategic packing helps on both the front end and back end of the moving process. Putting together like items from the same room makes the process of packing easier and simplifies unpacking when all the items can be placed in a similar space. Be sure to pack fragile items carefully!
Label boxes for easy unpacking.
Labels can make it easy to arrange boxes in a new space without unpacking everything all at once.
A New Place That Feels Like Home
On the other side of the moving process is a whole new space to make into a new home. For those moving into a senior living community, it is especially important for their new environment to be warm, welcoming and comfortable. Here are a few ideas for seniors and their family members to create the perfect space:
Display family photos.
Bringing family photos to display in the new space is a great way to feel close to loved ones, to remember family members and to make a new place feel like home.
Incorporate the new and the old.
To help a space feel both exciting and new, as well as comfortable and familiar, it helps to combine the new and the old. Bringing some familiar pieces of furniture and mixing in new furniture, blankets and pillows will combine positive feelings and memories.
Utilize versatile storage.
There are many special things that seniors moving into a senior living community want to keep on hand. Over time, these needs may change, so it is important to have various storage solutions that can keep things flexible.
Include bright, fun colors.
The lenses of the eye begin to yellow with age, causing a reduction of clarity. Bright colors with lots of contrast can help discern between items and keep the room warm and homey!
Seek out social engagements.
Social occasions are one of the greatest benefits of a senior living community! Find out what is offered and how to get involved as soon as possible.
Share a meal.
Make time to share a meal with family members and loved ones in the senior living community after moving in. This helps the new space to feel like home and provides a feeling of security for seniors in their new homes.
Make a family plan to stay connected. Schedule visits, calls and video chats to keep everyone on the same page and support all family members during the transition.
Tips on Moving Your Loved One To Memory Care
Relocating isn’t easy for anyone. And when it’s a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia who’s moving into a memory care community, the situation is even more complicated.
About Tutera Senior Living & Health Care
At Tutera Senior Living & Health Care, we believe each resident should receive support for their physical, emotional and intellectual needs. This approach to health and wellness treats the whole person and makes their experience at Tutera as unique as they are. Through the EmpowerMe Wellness program, each resident’s care plan is created with an integrated approach to health, focusing on one-on-one services and the wants and needs of that particular resident.
Interested in learning more about Tutera Senior Living? To locate a nearby community, you can use our community finder tool or call us today at 1-877-988-8372 with any questions about our communities, our amenities or our care!