Assisted living communities offer the comforts of home with the extra support you need to thrive. However, the move to an assisted living community can be overwhelming and emotional as you downsize your current life and get used to new surroundings. These tips help make the transition to your new community easier.
Finding an assisted living community that makes you feel at home is the first step toward making a smooth transition. You'll find a variety of communities with different focuses, amenities and levels of care. For example, assisted living communities under the Bethesda Senior Living Communities umbrella use a faith-based approach and focus on supporting the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of the residents. Choose a community with the features and philosophy that match your preferences and meet your needs.
After choosing your assisted living community and finalizing the details, create a moving timeline based on your move-in date. This helps you spread out preparations over the amount of time you have available until the move. Include important tasks you need to complete before moving like packing, selling your house, handling legal paperwork, changing your address and hiring a moving company. Give yourself plenty of time to handle all moving-related tasks so you don't feel rushed.
Communities under the Bethesda Senior Living Communities umbrella offer spacious floorplans to fit your needs, but your new assisted living apartment will still likely be smaller than your current home. That means you'll need to decide what you keep, what you get rid of and what you put in storage for now. It can be difficult to get rid of things you've had for years. Consider renting a storage unit or storing some items in a relative's house if you want to hold onto some of the items that won't fit in your new space.
Decide if you're going to pack yourself, get help from family members or hire professional movers to pack for you. Hiring someone to do the job can be worth the extra money because it's easier on you physically. Movers will also do the packing very quickly, so you don't have to spend days or weeks loading everything into boxes.
If you're doing the packing yourself, decide how you'll pack items. It's easiest to start with things you don't use often because you won't miss them after they're packed. Make a checklist to make sure you pack everything, and put detailed descriptions on the box labels to ensure you know what's inside each box.
Getting settled into your new living space as quickly as possible can ease the transition. Unpack your items and arrange your belongings soon after you arrive. Include personal touches and favorite decor pieces you had in your previous home to make your new space feel more familiar. Personal touches make your new apartment feel like yours, and it can make you feel happier to see your favorite personal items on display.
Start exploring your new community as soon as possible. This gives you a chance to become familiar with the layout and learn about all of the amenities the community has to offer. You can also start meeting other community residents faster when you start to explore the various locations. Going beyond the assisted living community to explore the places in the immediate area can also help you settle in faster. It's a good way to discover what options are nearby if you're looking for entertainment or shopping options.
Another way to meet your fellow residents and jump right into life in your new community is by participating in the scheduled activities. Assisted living communities often have a full schedule of activities, outings, speakers, clubs, fitness activities, classes and other things you can do. Participating in these activities can help keep you busy, which can be a good distraction if you're feeling sad about the transition in the beginning.
Once you're settled into your new home, invite your local friends and family to visit. This is a good way to stay connected and feel less lonely if you're having difficulty transitioning. You might invite them to see your new apartment or eat a meal with you. Throwing a small housewarming party is a fun way to celebrate the move with the people who are important to you. Keep in touch with your family and friends regularly, whether through visits, video chat or phone calls, to help you feel connected as you settle in.
Assisted living communities often give you more freedom because you don't have to worry about things like cooking your meals or maintaining your home. You also have more activities available to you. The change can be a little overwhelming, so focus on creating a new routine once you get moved in. You might create a morning routine including meditation and prayer time before venturing out into the community to participate in some of the daily activities. This routine can bring you comfort and help you get the most out of your day in your new community.