Enjoy this guest blog post, written by Michael Longsdon our friend at elderfreedom.net.
Deciding to move into an assisted living home can be very stressful, especially if you don’t know where to start. You not only have to downsize your home into a potentially smaller and more suitable space, but there are also a lot of options out there for your future home. There may be a lot of great places to move into, but not all of them are going to offer the care and amenities that are important to you. So, how do you go about finding the best senior home, and how do you make the move as smooth as possible?
Make Lists, Ask Questions
Organizing your questions and requirements ahead of time is a great place to start. We all have our own concerns and needs, and it’s good to address them upfront. Not all assisted living facilities are equal, so it’s important to make sure the one you pick has what you personally need. This whole process is about making you informed and comfortable with your decision. There are no bad questions – even if people tell you that “all assisted living facilities have that”, just ask for peace of mind.
Here is a list to get you thinking about what you would need and want at the facility:
- Is it a shared room, or will you be by yourself?
- Is it apartment-style living, with a small kitchen, or is it just a room and meals are provided?
- What kinds of social and recreational activities are included?
- Is transportation provided if you want to go to the store, or somewhere else?
- What kind of security does the facility have?
- What services do they have if you have a medical emergency?
- Do they help you manage your medications?
- Will they assist you if you need help eating, getting dressed, bathing, or using the bathroom?
Just because you’re moving into a new home where you may need some assistance, it doesn’t mean you should stop doing things you love. What if you like painting or cooking – do they allow it? If you’re a book-lover, ask if they have a library or transportation to one. Maybe you like to travel, do they plan trips for groups? Ask anything that is important to you. You may also want to make a list of things to keep an eye out for while you’re at the facility. Human interactions, services, and cleanliness are all important.
Here are a few things to watch for while you’re there:
- Is the staff friendly and welcoming?
- Are the staff members respectful to residents and one another?
- Is it messy or dirty and are floors and tabletops clean?
- Do the residents look happy and rested?
After you have organized your thoughts into lists, start scheduling tours of facilities you’re interested in. Make copies of your lists and label them with the name and address of the facility you’re visiting, to help keep you organized when you review your notes later on. Be sure to ask all of your questions, don’t just assume anything. You want to be sure you’re choosing the right place for you.
Start Downsizing Months Ahead
The entire process of moving is exhausting, especially if you’re in a hurry. Not only is it difficult to sort through all of your possessions, but physically moving them can wear anyone out. Starting to downsize months ahead of your move will make the process much easier. With a few tips, your move will go much smoother.
1. Involve someone you trust: You may need some help going through your belongings, so ask for some help. Maybe you need help moving heavy items around, or sorting through small ones, but either way don’t be afraid to ask for help.
2. Remove unwanted items: Not sure of what to get rid of? Clothing you never wear, exercise equipment, holiday decorations, and furniture are a few items to consider.
3. Work on one room at a time: If you focus your energy on one space, the process of sorting items will be less overwhelming. Start with a closet or a small room. If there are a lot of items in one room, just focus on one box or piece of furniture at a time.
4. Hire movers: When it comes time to make the move, it’s a big step. Hiring movers will make the transition easier. You can either have them pack for you, or you can pack beforehand. With someone else doing the heavy-lifting, you’re less likely to injure yourself. This also gives you the ability to separate yourself from the house, if you feel watching the moving of your belongings is too much.
At the end of the day, try to help yourself stay as stress-free as possible. Organizing your thoughts, questions and even belongings will allow everything to fall into place much easier. You will be more confident with your decision, feel more comfortable with the move, and be able to relax and really appreciate life in your new home. Here’s a good reference to use to help make a move organized and less stressful.