Initiate the Conversation
As we age, the responsibilities that come with home ownership begin to feel like more of a burden. From landscaping to interior maintenance, there are many things to take care of, and these tasks might not be how you imagine dedicating your time during your retirement years. You may also have specialized health needs, require the assistance of a caregiver, or want to be prepared for when that time comes.
If you think that a senior living community makes more sense for your current or future needs, it’s never too early to initiate the conversation. Speak to your spouse and family members, caretakers and others who are close to you about why you want to make the move to a senior living community. From lessening the burden on loved ones to becoming a part of a tight-knit community that lets you make the most out of your retirement, this transition could be the perfect move for you – and it’s important to have your loved ones on board, too!
Take Your Time, Don’t Rush
You’ve talked with your loved ones, weighed your options and now you’re 100% decided on moving to a senior living community. Don’t rush and move to the first community you hear of without making sure you are fully prepared! From researching different senior living communities and identifying the living options and amenities that are important to you, to making a moving plan, there are many steps to take before you jump in this next phase of your retirement. While it’s important to make sure you’ve considered all of your options before making decisions and moving, don’t wait too long! One of the joys of a retirement community is being able to enjoy it while you are still able!
Research Senior Living Communities
Make sure to read facility ratings and see what others have to say about each of the senior living communities you consider. When you begin researching senior living communities, start by making a list of your current wants and needs, as well as future needs. Choosing a retirement community that offers a continuum of care for its residents will help to guarantee that you receive the care you need on the same campus throughout every stage of your retirement. Does Alzheimer’s or Dementia run in your family? A facility that offers memory care services can help ensure your day to day needs will be met if you’re diagnosed. Will you require assisted living services, or does your spouse need these services? Make sure the facility you choose offers a full range of services to meet these needs.
The location of the facility you choose is another important factor to take into consideration. If you have friends and family that will want to visit, choose a retirement community that is centrally located or within driving distance of an airport for easier commutes. Plus, looking for a senior living community that’s located on a large campus can help offer more of the on-site conveniences you need.
Identify Important Amenities
From doctors’ appointments and rehabilitation therapy to medical emergencies, opting for a senior living community with an on-site clinic and rehab services can help ensure your health needs are met once you move to a retirement community. What other amenities are important to you? From religious services to dining, shopping, quick access to banking, exercise classes and more, explore which amenities are offered at different senior living communities to find the perfect fit for you. If maintaining social life during your retirement years is important to you, also make sure you’re choosing a community with an active events calendar. From off-campus outings to community gatherings, music events and more, find a senior living community that caters to the lifestyle you want to live!
Make a Moving Plan
Make the decision about which senior living community living community is the right fit for you? Creating a written moving plan can help ensure that details don’t get overlooked once you make the move. Moving experts recommend creating a move binder to keep yourself organized. Include a calendar of key dates and move milestones, task lists, an inventory of what you’re taking with you, contact information, and any estimates and receipts.
You also will want to make sure that your current house is in order. If you own your home, are you planning on selling, or will you be keeping it in the family? If you plan to sell your home, get the house appraised and take care of any needed repairs or upgrades to help sell the house before you put it on the market. Then research and vet real estate agents to find the one that’s a good fit to get your house listed.
Prepare to Downsize
Whether you’re moving to an independent living or assisted living apartment, or are planning on transitioning to an independent living residence, there’s a good chance that not all of the items in your home are going to be coming along with you. Downsizing your personal belongings might seem like an overwhelming task, both emotionally and practically, but taking it slow can help you tackle this project without stress.
Decide on which items you’re keeping, donating, selling, or tossing – focusing on one area at a time. If you think you’d benefit from assistance with downsizing, get your family involved. From helping you sort through what you need to letting you know what is meaningful or useful to them, or which items they think could go to better use if donated, family can be a big help!
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help with your move, from getting organized to packing and making sure important milestones are met. Plus, professional moving companies will help make move-in day hassle-free. You don’t have to do it all on your own!
Enjoy a Smooth Move-in Process
From arranging your living plans to checking off lists, there’s a lot to take care of before you move to your new community! In the meantime, you don’t have to wait to get to know your future senior living community. Ask your retirement community if you can be introduced to staff and residents. Start getting to know your neighbors, get answers to your questions, and then when you do make the move, it might already feel more like home!
Have questions about how Copeland Oaks can help make your transition to a senior living community hassle-free? Contact us today!