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Moving to Assisted Living Checklist: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking for extra support with activities of daily living (ADLs), a vibrant social scene, and the peace of mind that comes with personalized care throughout retirement, assisted living is the perfect start to your next chapter.

Our Moving to Assisted Living checklist is your guide to a smooth transition. From exploring your options to settling comfortably into your new home, this step-by-step resource helps you make confident decisions and find a community that truly feels like home.

Step 1: Researching Senior Living Communities

Not all assisted living communities are created equal. It’s essential to find one that perfectly suits your needs, preferences and personality. Here’s how to get started:

  • Location: Choose a community that reflects your lifestyle, whether it’s near loved ones, offers vibrant city living, or has easy access to healthcare. 
  • Assistance With Activities of Daily Living: Think about the everyday things that are important to you. Consider what kind of assistance you currently require with activities of daily living (ADLs) and what you might need in the future. 
  • Safety Is a Priority: Older adults choose Monticello West with confidence because we prioritize the safety and wellness of our residents. Our innovative program, EverSafe 360°™ developed by LCS®, sets the standard for a healthy environment.
  • Atmosphere: Do you crave a vibrant community with endless activities? Or perhaps a cozy, intimate setting feels more like home? Explore communities that match your personality and discover where you’ll thrive.

Time for a Visit!

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s time to schedule visits. Here’s what to look for:

  • Cleanliness and Overall Condition: Is the community well maintained and inviting?
  • Friendliness of Staff: Do they seem genuinely caring and attentive? It’s important to feel comfortable with the people who might become part of your daily life.
  • Residents: Do they appear happy and engaged? Chat with a few residents if you can!
  • Floor Plans: Are the residences private, or will you have a roommate? Do you like the layout? Ask about floor plan sizes and if there are options to personalize your space.

For more than 30 years, Monticello West has been a premier choice for assisted living in Dallas. Schedule your personalized visit to discover personalized care, pet-friendly residences, and community that truly feels like family. 

Ask Questions

This is your chance to learn everything you need. Discuss topics like cost, service levels, activities, staffing ratios, policies, and any other important factors. 

Tip: Take notes during your visits – these will help you compare later. Bringing a trusted loved one along can be incredibly helpful for support and to get a second perspective.

Step 2: Easing Into the Downsizing Process

While saying goodbye to a home of memories can be bittersweet, it also marks the beginning of a fresh new start! Here are some ways to make the downsizing process easier:

Start Early

Start early for a stress-free move! Giving yourself plenty of time to sort through your belongings will make moving day feel much more manageable and allow you to make thoughtful decisions about what to keep, donate, or give to loved ones.

Categorize Your Belongings

Prioritize the belongings that make you happiest and will help you create a comfortable space. Categorizing your belongings is a great way to downsize with confidence and make moving much smoother. Consider these categories:

  • Must-Haves: The daily essentials, cherished items, and pieces that simply make you smile – these are definitely coming with you!
  • Gifts for Loved Ones: Are there special heirlooms or items you’d like to pass along to family and friends? Start those conversations, and share the memories those items hold.
  • Donations: Gently used items in good condition can brighten someone else’s life.
  • Not Quite Ready To Let Go: It’s okay to have a few things you can’t part with just yet. Consider temporary storage until you can decide.

Ask for Help

Don’t hesitate to ask friends, family, or even professional organizers for assistance. Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes! An extra set of hands and a fresh perspective can make the world of difference.

Tip: Preserve the memories, not the clutter. Before letting items go, take photos to cherish. This way, you keep the special moments without needing extra storage in your new home.

caregiver helping senior lady stand

Step 3: Taking Care of the Details

While the technical details of moving to assisted living are less exciting than choosing your new community, addressing these them carefully is essential for a smooth and successful transition. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Understanding Costs: Get a crystal-clear breakdown from your chosen community. Clarify what’s included in the monthly fees and if there are additional charges for specific services.
  • Explore All Options: Investigate potential sources of financial aid, such as long-term care insurance or Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefits. 
  • Applications: Many communities have a formal application process. Be prepared with personal details, and complete them carefully.
  • Medical Records: Coordinate with your physician to obtain your health records and any recent assessments your new community may require.
  • Legal Matters: It’s a good time to double-check that your power of attorney, advance directives, and other important papers are all in order and easy to find.
  • Keep Loved Ones Informed: Family, or whoever you’ve chosen as your support, should be updated on your plans and any important documents.

Tip: A dedicated “moving folder” is your new best friend! It keeps all the paperwork organized and easy to find when you need it.

Ready to plan your perfect retirement? Our Resource page features a collection of articles, guides, and checklists on senior living and well-being that will equip you with essential information to make decisions with confidence.

Step 4: Moving Into Assisted Living – Welcome Home!

Move-in day marks the start of your journey to an ideal retirement lifestyle in assisted living. With a little preparation, it can be a smooth and enjoyable experience.  

Here are some tips to help you feel organized and reduce potential stress:

Pre-Move Walk-Through

  • Measure and Visualize: If possible, measure your new home’s doorways and furniture beforehand. This ensures a smooth move-in without unpleasant surprises and lets you plan your furniture layout.
  • Make a List: Make a quick list of any extra items you might need for your space, like shelves, lamps, curtains and non-slip rugs.

Packing and Labeling

  • Color-Coding: Color-coded stickers or labels on boxes help movers easily identify where to place them in your new home.
  • Label Clearly: Include both the contents and the room for each box. This streamlines the unpacking process.
  • “First Night” Essentials: Pack a separate bag or box with everything you’ll need for the first night: toiletries, cozy pajamas, medications, and a few cherished items.

Additional Considerations

  • Hire Movers (If Needed): Professionals specializing in senior moves can ease the physical burden and make the day less tiring.
  • Enlist Help: Don’t be afraid to ask loved ones or community staff to assist with unpacking, furniture arranging, or last-minute needs.
  • Personalize Your Space: Make your new home feel familiar and comforting immediately by unpacking treasured photos, mementos, and your favorite things.
  • Start With the Essentials: Setting up your bedroom and bathroom first creates a haven of comfort at the end of a busy day.

Tip: Moving can be tiring. Schedule breaks for yourself to rest, have something to eat, and take in your new surroundings. 

Step 5: Settling In and Making New Friends

The first few weeks in assisted living are a time of exciting adjustments! Here are some simple ways to make your community feel like home:

  • Get Involved: Your community likely has a bustling activity calendar. Check it out and join activities that catch your eye – hobbies, outings, or social events. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
  • Introduce Yourself: Don’t be shy! A warm “hello” and a smile can spark new friendships with both residents and staff.
  • Explore: Get to know your community’s layout. Where’s the dining room, the social spaces, or maybe a lovely garden?
  • Be Patient With Yourself: Change takes time. Remember to schedule some quiet moments for rest and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.
  • Stay Connected: Visits and calls from loved ones make the transition smoother and remind you of all the support you have.

Tip: Moving to assisted living is a big decision, and it’s okay to feel a mix of emotions. Remember, you’re not alone! This change offers personalized care, companionship, and the freedom to live life your way. Embrace this exciting new chapter with an open heart and an open mind.

seniors stretching together smiling

Discover Comfort and Community at Monticello West

Experience the welcoming atmosphere and person-centered care that make Monticello West the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Contact us to schedule a personalized visit, and see for yourself why our assisted living community is the perfect place for a thriving, comfortable, and worry-free retirement!