Tips for Seniors Moving to Assisted Living

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Moving to an assisted living facility isn’t just a lot like moving to a new home, it IS moving to a new home. However, it may be a smaller one. With that in mind, it’s time to figure out what to bring with you.

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Furniture

Before moving in, ask to see the room you’ll be in (or one like it). While some facilities have two- or three-bedroom apartments, most assisted living rooms are about the size of a one-bedroom apartment with a bathroom, bedroom, and combined living room/dining room/kitchen area. The furniture you bring must be able to fit without hampering your ability to get around. Tops on your list should be:

  • Bed (twin or full usually)
  • Small sofa/loveseat and a sitting chair or two
  • Dresser or nightstand
  • Small table or TV trays
  • TV (note that you may need to pay for cable or satellite)

Other furniture-type items you may want to consider including a microwave (if one isn’t provided), a bookcase or similar item for books or mementos, radio/stereo, and telephone (or cell phone). If you have and use a computer or tablet, bring it as well (you may need to pay for Internet service).

Personal Items

This apartment or room is going to be your space, so make it yours. Keep in mind your space requirements, however, and only bring those things that fit, have meaning to you, and that you will use. In your list of personal items, be sure to include:

  • Clothes and hangers
  • Toiletries, including toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, dentures, comb/brush, etc.
  • Clock
  • Artwork – make sure it fits and means something to you as your wall space is limited
  • Personal photos
  • Medications
  • Watches and jewelry – keep these to a minimum and only what you wear and need (if you have valuable jewelry, bring a small safe as well)

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Other Items

Other things you’ll want to bring include:

  • Cleaning supplies – for laundry and dishes, including sponges, cleaner, and dish towels
  • Dishes – plates, glasses, silverware (service for 4 is usually more than enough)
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Pillows, bedsheets, blankets
  • Lamps or other lighting
  • Coffee maker (if you drink it and don’t want to go to a common room or the cafeteria everytime you want a cup)

You can find more tips on what to bring (and not to bring!) when moving to a facility:

Find a Reputable Mover

Whether you’re planning the move yourself or helping a loved one with their transition, you might want to enlist the help of a professional moving service that specializes in senior moves. These companies can help with packing and organizing for your move, donating items you’ll no longer need, and arranging your new home just how you’d like it. Check out the Southwest Movers Association to find a list of licensed movers in the DFW area.

Moving Home, Not Away

Remember that you are moving to a new home filled with new friends and new opportunities. Your room or apartment will be where you spend a lot of time, so be sure you’re comfortable there. This move is a great opportunity for you to downsize to those things that matter to you. As the saying goes, home is where the heart is, so take yours with you.