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Moving to Assisted Living Checklist: Where to Start, What to Keep & Everything In-Between

By Stacey BurkeApril 26, 2021
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Moving elderly parents into assisted living can have its fair share of challenges, but there are ways to keep the moving process on track while minimizing stress for everyone involved.

Learn how you can streamline and help simplify your loved one’s move by handling practical arrangements early, planning for their new space, and using this moving to assisted living checklist to stay organized.

What to do before moving parent to assisted living

If you’ve ever moved, you know there are practical arrangements that must be tended to before moving day, and moving elderly parents into assisted living is no different.

By taking care of the following details, you can set yourself and your loved one up for a smooth move.

Take care of the logistics

Once living arrangements have been settled on and the details are in place, it’s time to start making some phone calls.

  • Notify all necessary parties of their change of address (USPS, Social Security Administration, etc.)
  • Share your loved one’s new address and contact information with friends and family
  • Give disconnect notice to utilities and other service providers
  • Transfer prescriptions if necessary
  • Confirm with the community that all pre-move paperwork is complete

Plan ahead with the new space in mind

Not only does having the exact dimensions of the new space help identify which of your loved one’s furniture pieces will fit, but planning the layout may be helpful in easing some of their anxieties.

  • Ask for a copy of their exact floor-plan
  • Ask for a list of items the community will provide
  • Ask for community rules and information on prohibited items
  • Plan the layout of furniture and other decorative items

Begin the process of downsizing

Downsizing is the key to streamlining your loved one’s move, but knowing where to start is understandably challenging. There’s often a fine line between wanting to keep something simply because it’s been around for a long time and because it adds value to one’s life. These tips to downsizing may make identifying the difference simple, but a few items you can start with are:

  • Heavy, oversized furniture
  • An abundance of knickknacks or collectibles
  • Throw rugs, area rugs, or other decorative items that sit on the floor
  • Chairs on wheels or without armrests
  • Seldom-worn jewelry and clothing
  • Duplicates of items

Hire movers

Finding reliable, trustworthy movers is important. If you’re unsure where to start, the community your loved one is moving to may have a list of recommendations that they can share with you.

  • Get cost estimates
  • Read reviews online
  • Confirm availability for move-in date
  • Confirm the moving company is properly licensed and insured
  • Confirm ability to move heavy, specialty items (e.g., hospital bed)

Talk with a Senior Living Advisor

Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.

What to pack when moving your parent to assisted living

Now that you’ve gone through the process of downsizing and have a good idea of what your loved one would like to take with them, you should be in good shape to begin packing.

Generally speaking, it’s wise to pack items according to their frequency of use. This allows your loved one to continue living comfortably in their home while still making progress as you approach the move-in date.

Items to pack early:

  • Legal and financial paperwork – keep these somewhere easily accessible
  • Photos and keepsakes
  • Seasonal clothing and accessories
  • Hobby supplies
  • Books, movies, and puzzles
  • Decor

Items to pack the week of move-in:

  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Health and wellness items
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Appliances and housewares
  • Furniture
  • Television and other electronics

Download our comprehensive Moving to Assisted Living Checklist to stay organized.

What to do after moving your parent to assisted living

Moving elderly parents into assisted living is an emotional experience for everyone involved, but there are ways you can continue to help them adjust and even embrace the change long after the move.

  • Stay in touch with texts, pictures, and calls
  • Coordinate visits with other family members
  • Bring personal items to keep their new home feeling homey
  • Respect their space as they adjust
Stacey Burke

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