Transitioning to Senior Living
Updated: Jul 17
The move-in date is on the calendar and life at a new senior living community is on the horizon! While a move to senior living can be exciting (who doesn’t love a home that features a maintenance-free lifestyle, wellness amenities, and convenient services?), there can be a lot of nerves for everyone as you approach the move. Fortunately, there are ways you can ease the transition for yourself or your loved one and make the move as seamless as possible.
Here are a few of our favorite tips for making your senior living transition efficient and how to make the most of the first few days, weeks, and months.
Hire Moving Help
The transition to senior living begins with the move itself, which can be stressful for anyone. Relieve some of that anxiety by hiring a moving company that can take care of packing and moving. If possible, work with a company that has experience with senior living moves. If you are looking for recommendations, talk to your new senior living community. They often have a list of vetted companies that they have worked with successfully in the past.
Communicate Before the Move
Speaking of the new senior living community, ensure you communicate with them in the weeks and days leading up to the move. Not only will they tell you your move-in date and time frame, they will also give you information about which elevators to use and which doors you can use to move your possessions to your new home.
If possible, consider scheduling time in the weeks before the move to enjoy a meal and event at the community. This will give you the opportunity to meet some new neighbors before you move in and get a glimpse of what your life will soon be like.
Keep Your Door Open
When you move in and start unpacking, consider keeping your apartment door open. Any new move-in is exciting for residents at the community because they can’t wait to meet the new neighbor moving in. Keeping an open door will show that you are welcoming to anyone who wants to knock and introduce themselves.
Take Advantage of New Resident Welcome Programs
Many senior living communities have some form of a special welcome program for new residents. This might include having a Resident Ambassador introduce themselves and offer to walk you to your first few meals or save you a seat at an upcoming event. It might be a welcome basket and a welcome social. In any case, consider taking advantage of the welcome program and enjoy your neighbors rolling out the red carpet for you! You’ll get to know the community better and start new friendships with your neighbors.
Getting involved in life at your new senior living community is crucial when setting yourself up for a smooth transition. Be sure you are heading down to the dining room for meals, waving to neighbors in the hallway, and attending events. You can also challenge yourself to take your cup of coffee to the community living room or to read your newspaper in the community library. This way, you are more likely to connect with a neighbor and start a conversation than if you spend those moments alone in your apartment.
Not sure what time the dining room opens or how to sign up for an upcoming trip? Ask someone. You’ll find that both staff members and neighbors are always ready to help you navigate through community life. Be sure to ask if you have questions or if you need help. Soon, you’ll have all the answers and will be able to help another new resident when they move in.
Check In with Your Doctor
It’s always a good move to not only pass along your new contact information to your physician but to also follow up with them a few months after you move into your new community. You can give them an update on your living situation and how things are going so they can adjust any of your interventions as necessary. For example, you might be able to decrease your supplements since you are getting well-rounded meals in the dining room or you might need to start using your walker more for support as you get used to walking longer distances throughout the community.
Host a Gathering
Finally, don’t forget to show off your new home! Host a family gathering or a party for friends in your new apartment or reserve the community’s private dining room for a larger space. Your friends and family are curious about how your new community treats you, so invite them to see it for themselves!
At iNavigate, we work closely with our clients as they transition to the senior living community of their choice. We are there to offer guidance and personalized advice that will make your transition even better. Contact us to learn more about our free services.
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