How to Feel at Home After a Move to Assisted Living

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woman sitting on bench smiling

Downsizing and settling in to an assisted living community can feel overwhelming. As is true of any big change in life, moving is an adjustment no matter how excited you are for a new chapter. It isn’t uncommon for seniors and adult children to struggle to unpack, organize, and feel at home.

If you or a senior loved one has recently moved or is planning to, we have a few tips that may help make the transition go more smoothly.

4 Tips for Adjusting to Life at an Assisted Living Community

  1. Get involved before you move.

Many people struggle with change. For older adults who lived in their home for decades, moving can be physically and emotionally challenging. Giving up a home that has many fond memories attached to it can be tough. You might find yourself questioning if you are making the right decision.

One suggestion is to get involved at the assisted living community before moving. Ask the life enrichment team how you can do that. With current concerns about the coronavirus, team members are getting creative about keeping residents safely engaged in activities and events. There might be opportunities for you to connect with residents through video chat platforms, such as Zoom or Skype.

  1. Take your time downsizing and moving.

Unless you must move quickly for a health reason or if your house is sold, try to establish realistic timelines. There are so many tasks associated with downsizing and moving that it’s easy to be paralyzed by all of the details. Hosting an estate sale and finding a charity to donate unneeded household items to are time-intensive projects.

Some older adults and their families wait to list or sell the house until after the move. Then you can set up a more reasonable schedule for downsizing and selling the home.

  1. Make the new place resemble the old one.

An all-new environment with unfamiliar faces can be intimidating, especially for more reserved seniors. One step to settle in faster is to make your assisted living apartment look and feel familiar.

As you plan your move, decide how to decorate your new apartment so it resembles home. While you might need to donate or sell some of your furniture and home décor, hang on to your most treasured items. Incorporating a favorite chair or love seat, framed family photos, and other memorabilia can help make your new residence comfortable.

  1. Be kind to yourself as you settle in.

It’s important to remind yourself that you will have good and bad days during this time. Most residents find as the weeks go by, the good days outnumber the bad. Be patient and kind to yourself while you are adjusting to this change.

Some older adults and their families find it helpful to create a plan for handling bad days. It might be an agreement to call an adult child or watch favorite family videos for comfort.

Visit a Five Star Community Today

Whether it’s an in-person visit or a virtual tour, there are many ways you can get to know Five Star Senior Living. We invite you to call the community nearest you to learn more!