Being the new kid on the block happens over and over in our lives. Now you’re about to be the new resident in a Senior Living home. Here are some things that you can do to set yourself up for success as you join a retirement care community.
Plan the Move
When you schedule your move-in date, be sure you’ve left yourself enough time to pack in an effective, organized manner. Give away or sell the things you don’t really want to continue owning. If time is short, that may mean you need to recruit some helpers from family and friends. The shorter the time, the more helpers needed. Just keep in mind- if you needed three friends to help pack, you’ll need 3 friends to unpack too. Or else you’ll end up surrounded by boxes and feeling lost in a new place, instead of surrounded by familiarity and able to find things.
Mark the Occasion
Have a meaningful farewell from wherever you’re leaving, whether it’s from one assisted living facility to a better one, or from a house to your first assisted living home. Don’t rush the move, and don’t act as if it doesn’t mean anything. It actually means a lot. You have established great relationships with people in your neighborhood and leaving can be a very emotional and personal process. Although you’re not giving up your relationships, they may be changing. So take a day to celebrate your old home and it’s community.
Set up a Familiar Environment
It is very important that you set up a familiar environment when moving to a senior living facility. Don’t buy the perfect new carpet or couch right away. Instead, move with what you’re already familiar and comfortable with. For example, arrange your new bedroom so that when you wake up in the morning, your eyes will find the same familiar items in view. Set the living room with the same old decor, pictures, or TV. This will help you feel immediately at home.
Have your medications plans in place so they’re not disturbed by the move. Do you need a refill or a doctor’s appointment? Depending on the community, obtaining emergency medications and other medication management services can be handled by staff, or can be left to family members. Find out how things work and plan ahead.
You’re Here! Now What?
The new facility and community may have some routine and culture of its own. And you have your own routines. You don’t have to just scrap your old traditions. Feel free to drink your tea and read at the same time you used to, and keep other daily routines too. If your plans conflict with what’s going on around you, remember that you can always join in another day. But if you want to capitalize on your newness to make more friends right away, you can do that too! Just remember that the choice is yours.