Is your parent downsizing to a senior living community? Here are seven essential steps to make the transition easy for your senior.
- Find the right communityLearn what types of senior communities are available in the area your senior wants to live. Research what each community offers. Tour the facilities with your senior if possible and appropriate.
- Plan for your new spaceTo make sure that everything your senior wants to move will fit in the new space, measure the furniture to be moved then draw a to-scale floor plan and arrange the to scale furniture on the floor plan.
- Organize and downsizeSort possessions with your senior to determine what to keep, what to give away, what to sell, and what to discard. Start in the major storage areas of the home- basement, attic, garage, then move to the living areas of the home. Allow 4 hours at a time to sort through belongings to minimize fatigue and emotional overload.
- Pack dayEnsure contents packed by movers are clearly marked with room and contents. Pack and set aside a personal bag and an “essentials” box which will contain items necessary for your senior to be comfortable in the new home until the goods are unpacked. Suggested items include changes of clothing, medications, toiletries, bed linens, coffee/tea making supplies, and books. Make sure to leave unpacked any items needed to be comfortable during the final night in the old home.
- Moving dayBe sure movers place furniture according to floor plan and labeled boxes are placed in appropriate rooms. Transport senior, personal bag and essentials box to the new home. Make the bed and unpack and set up personal belongings and essentials for the comfort of your senior.
- Unpacking and Settling inUnpack all boxes and set up the new living space. Again, allow 4 hour increments of work time to reduce fatigue. Unpack one box at a time and set up one room at a time. In the kitchen, organize and put away dishes, cookware, utensils, and food. Hang the shower curtain and organize and put away the toiletries in the bathrooms. Make any additional bed, hang and fold clothing and place in drawers and closets at they were in the old home. Set clocks, connect lamps, stereo and TV, place books and decorative items on shelves, hang pictures and mirrors
- After your senior is movedPack and ship items to be given to family and friends who do not live in the area. Arrange the pickup of items to be given to charity. Arrange the disposal of any remaining items. Make repairs to the home as necessary. Clean the home, wipe down surfaces in the kitchen and baths, vacuum floors. Arrange for the sale of the home.