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Moving to Assisted Living Checklist: A Simple Guide

Whether you need help with daily tasks, want a lively community, or desire on-site care, assisted living offers a fulfilling new retirement lifestyle. 

This Moving to Assisted Living checklist will make your transition smoother, from finding the right options to settling into your new home. Think of it as your guide for making confident choices and finding a place that truly feels like home.

Step 1: Finding the Right Community To Call Home

Not all assisted living communities will be the perfect fit. It’s essential to find one that suits your needs, preferences and personality. Here’s how to get started:

  • Location: Choose a community that reflects your lifestyle, whether it’s near loved ones, offers vibrant city living, or has easy access to healthcare. 
  • Assistance With Activities of Daily Living: Think about the everyday things that are important to you. Consider what kind of assistance you currently require with activities of daily living (ADLs) and what you might need in the future. 
  • Amenities for Wellness: Your new community should support your mind, body and spirit. At Signature Pointe, our complimentary Health & Wellness Navigation Program™ is a core part of our commitment to you. From the moment you move in, your personal Wellness Navigator will coordinate care, answer questions, and champion your needs.
  • Atmosphere: Do you crave a vibrant community with endless activities? Or perhaps a cozy, intimate setting feels more like home? Explore communities that match your personality and discover where you’ll thrive.

Schedule a Visit

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s time to schedule visits. Here’s what to look for:

  • Cleanliness and Overall Condition: Is the community well maintained and inviting?
  • Friendliness of Staff: Do they seem genuinely caring and attentive? It’s important to feel comfortable with the people who might become part of your daily life.
  • Residents: Do they appear happy and engaged? Chat with a few residents if you can!
  • Floor Plans: Are the residences private, or will you have a roommate? Do you like the layout? Ask about floor plan sizes and if there are options to personalize your space.

Visit Signature Pointe to experience our vibrant community and personalized senior care. With one simple monthly fee, you’ll enjoy a private, pet-friendly residence, services and amenities tailored to your unique needs, including morning bed-making, evening turndown service, meal and activity reminders, and daily housekeeping.

Ask Questions

This is your chance to learn everything you need. Discuss topics like cost, service levels, activities, staffing ratios, policies, and any other important factors. 

Tip: Take notes during your visits – these will help you compare later. Bringing a trusted loved one along can be incredibly helpful for support and to get a second perspective.

Step 2: Downsizing With Intention

Saying goodbye to a home filled with memories can be emotional. However, it’s also the start of a new chapter brimming with possibilities! Here’s how to make the downsizing process easier:

Start Early

Giving yourself plenty of time is key to reducing stress. The sooner you begin sorting through your belongings, the less overwhelming it will feel when moving day gets closer.

Sort Your Belongings Into Groups

Your new home is a fresh start! Focus on the belongings that bring you joy and help create a cozy, welcoming space. Downsizing becomes easier when you break it into categories. Here’s how to start:

  • Must-Haves: The daily essentials, cherished items, and  pieces that simply make you smile – these are definitely coming with you!
  • Gifts for Loved Ones: Are there special heirlooms or items you’d like to pass along to family and friends? Start those conversations, and share the memories those items hold.
  • Donations: Gently used items in good condition can brighten someone else’s life.
  • Not Quite Ready To Let Go: It’s okay to have a few things you can’t part with just yet. Consider temporary storage until you can decide.

Ask for Help

Don’t hesitate to ask friends, family, or even professional organizers for help. An extra set of hands and a fresh perspective can be invaluable.

Tip: Take photos of items you’re letting go of. This helps you preserve those precious memories without needing to keep the physical object.

caregiver doing weighted exercises with elderly man

Step 3: Understanding the Details

While the logistical aspects may feel less exciting than choosing your new community, addressing these details carefully is important for a smooth and successful transition into assisted living. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Understanding Costs: Get a crystal-clear breakdown from your chosen community. Clarify what’s included in the monthly fees and if there are additional charges for specific services.
  • Explore All Options: Investigate potential sources of financial aid, such as long-term care insurance or Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefits. 
  • Applications: Many communities have a formal application process. Be prepared with personal details, and complete them carefully.
  • Medical Records: Coordinate with your physician to obtain your health records and any recent assessments your new community may require.
  • Legal Matters: It’s a good time to double-check that your power of attorney, advance directives, and other important papers are all in order and easy to find.
  • Keep Loved Ones Informed: Family, or whoever you’ve chosen as your support, should be updated on your plans and any important documents.

Tip: A dedicated “moving folder” can keep all the paperwork organized and easy to find when you need it.

Looking for more information on senior living? Get the information you need to make informed choices about your retirement. Browse our articles, guides, and checklists on senior living, well-being, and more on our Resources page.

Step 4: Moving Into Your New Home

Move-in day marks the start of your exciting new journey in assisted living! With a little preparation, it can be a smooth and enjoyable experience.  

Here are some tips to help you feel organized and reduce potential stress:

Pre-Move Walk-Through

  • Measure and Visualize: If possible, measure your new home’s doorways and furniture beforehand. This ensures a smooth move-in without unpleasant surprises and lets you plan your furniture layout.
  • Make a List: Make a quick list of any extra items you might need for your space, like shelves, lamps, curtains and non-slip rugs.

Packing and Labeling

  • Color-Coding: Color-coded stickers or labels on boxes help movers easily identify where to place them in your new home.
  • Label Clearly: Include both the contents and the room for each box. This streamlines the unpacking process.
  • “First Night” Essentials: Pack a separate bag or box with everything you’ll need for the first night: toiletries, cozy pajamas, medications, and a few cherished items.

Additional Considerations

  • Hire Movers (If Needed): Professionals specializing in senior moves can ease the physical burden and make the day less tiring.
  • Enlist Help: Don’t be afraid to ask loved ones or community staff to assist with unpacking, furniture arranging, or last-minute needs.
  • Personalize Your Space: Make your new home feel familiar and comforting immediately by unpacking treasured photos, mementos, and your favorite things.
  • Start With the Essentials: Setting up your bedroom and bathroom first creates a haven of comfort at the end of a busy day.

Tip: Have a variety of simple snacks ready to maintain your energy throughout your move. Be sure to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.

Step 5: Getting To Know Your Community

The first few weeks in assisted living are a time of exciting adjustments! Here are some simple ways to get to know your new neighbors and make your community feel like home:

  • Get Involved: Your community likely has a bustling activity calendar. Check it out and join activities that catch your eye – hobbies, outings, or social events. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
  • Introduce Yourself: Don’t be shy! A warm “hello” and a smile can spark new friendships with both residents and staff.
  • Explore: Get to know your community’s layout. Where’s the dining room, the social spaces, or maybe a lovely garden?
  • Be Patient With Yourself: Change takes time. Remember to schedule some quiet moments for rest, and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.
  • Stay Connected: Visits and calls from loved ones make the transition smoother and remind you of all the support you have.

Tip: Moving to assisted living is a big step, and it’s okay to feel a mix of emotions. Along with personalized support and companionship, discover the freedom to live life your way by embracing your new community with excitement and an open mind.

caregiver with senior lady using walker in living room

Discover a Life You’ll Love at Signature Pointe

Your dream retirement starts here! Discover personalized care, a warm community, and the freedom to live life on your terms at Signature Pointe. Contact us to schedule a visit, explore everything we offer, and discover the perfect place to thrive throughout retirement.