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Checklist for Moving to Assisted Living

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a man and his senior father move boxes

Moving loved ones from their long-time home to a new living situation such as assisted living can be a challenging and emotional journey. It’s a process that demands sensitivity, patience, and understanding.

Whether due to declining health, safety concerns, or the need for specialized care, moving loved ones requires careful planning and consideration. A comprehensive checklist can make this transition smoother. Bellevue Village offers our take on what you should include:

  • Researching options
  • Assessing needs
  • Financial preparedness
  • Involving them in every decision 
  • Ensuring the transition is gradual
  • Create a moving plan
  • Settle legal, financial, and medical affairs
  • Provide emotional support
  • Stay involved and engaged

Transitioning to assisted living can be a positive change. Once settled, your loved one can explore and enjoy their new community and its offerings!

Explore Your Options

Begin by conducting a thorough search to find the ideal assisted living community for your family member. Key aspects to consider include:

  • The community’s location
  • Staff-to-resident ratio
  • Standard of care provided
  • Amenities offered
  • Overall cost

Arrange visits and consultations with potential communities to gain a better understanding of their environments and ensure they align with your loved one’s needs.

Assessing Needs

Evaluating your loved one’s current health condition, mobility, and specific care requirements is a crucial step when transitioning them into an assisted living community. This assessment goes beyond ticking boxes; it involves understanding the full scope of their daily lives and how their health impacts their independence.

If mobility is becoming a challenge, they may need a community offering more hands-on support, possibly with equipment or medication management. Conversely, if they are still fairly agile, a community promoting more independence might be a better fit.

Reviewing their care requirements is also essential, from personal care routines to accommodating dietary needs and other health conditions. Each factor plays a significant role in determining the level of assistance they’ll require.

Financial Preparedness

Navigating the finances of assisted living requires a strategic approach, considering that monthly expenses average around $4,500, according to the National Council on Aging. The key to managing these costs is detailed financial planning.

While financing assisted living may seem daunting, exploring available resources such as long-term care insurance, government programs, and veterans’ benefits can provide a viable path forward.

Involving Them in Decision-Making

Involve your loved ones in every step of the decision-making process, from choosing the new living arrangement to deciding what to bring and how to organize the move. When they have a say in these decisions, they are more likely to feel in control and less resistant to change.

Tips for Involvement:

  • Discuss Options Openly: Present all available options and discuss the pros and cons of each.
  • Tour Communities Together: If considering assisted living, take tours together and let them meet the staff and residents.
  • Seek Their Preferences: Ask for their input on room arrangements, decorations, and other personal touches.

Gradual Transition

A sudden move can be overwhelming, especially for older adults. If possible, make the transition gradual. Start by spending a few days at the new location before making the permanent move. This allows your parents to adjust slowly and become familiar with their new surroundings.

Steps for a Gradual Transition:

  • Short Visits: Arrange short stays in the new environment before the final move.
  • Familiar Items: Bring familiar items like favorite furniture, photos, and personal belongings early on to make the new place feel like home.
  • Routine Establishment: Help establish a routine that mirrors their current one to provide a sense of stability.

Create a Moving Plan

Developing a detailed moving plan will help streamline the process and ensure the day goes smoothly. The plan should outline tasks, timelines, and responsibilities. Arrange for movers or enlist family and friends to help with packing and moving belongings.

Determine a timeline for the move, including key dates such as lease or contract signing, moving day, and the transition to the assisted living community.

Settle Legal, Financial, & Medical Affairs

Make sure that all relevant parties and services, such as your loved one’s bank, utility companies, and government agencies, are informed of their new address. Additionally, review legal documents, including wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives

Transfer medical records and prescriptions to the new assisted living community, and inform all healthcare providers of the move, providing any necessary documentation or authorizations.

Emotional Support

Transitioning into assisted living can be emotionally challenging for your loved one and your family. Be open and supportive, offering reassurance throughout the process. Consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor to help navigate the emotional aspects of the move.

a woman and her senior parent hugging in a kitchen

Stay Involved & Engaged

After the move, remain actively involved in your loved one’s care and well-being. Visit regularly, participate in activities together, and maintain frequent communication with the staff to make sure that their needs are met. Staying connected is an essential part of everyone’s daily life.

Navigating Transitioning to Assisted Living With Compassion

Moving parents into assisted living is a significant life transition that requires careful planning, emotional support, and empathy. By following this comprehensive checklist and working together as a family, you can help ensure a smooth and successful transition for your loved ones.Bellevue Village at Woodstock is here to assist in any way we can, offering resources, dedicated staff, and excellent accommodations. We encourage you to reach out and book a tour to see what we have to offer!

Written by Angela Clark

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