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tips to transitioning to assisted living

Making the Transition to Assisted Living: Tips for a Smooth Move

Like many eldest daughters or sons of the family, you may be the primary caregiver for your parent/s or another loved one. This overwhelming time could leave you searching for tips on how to manage the transition to assisted living for your family member. 

Depending on your loved one’s condition, you may also look for assisted living that offers comprehensive memory care. 

Whether you’re preparing for immediate transition or just starting to explore options, we hope to walk you through practical scenarios and provide solid advice, and actionable steps, allowing loved ones to adapt effortlessly to their new surroundings and lifestyle.

Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

Emotional and mental preparation for the move

Moving to an assisted living community can often be a whirlwind of emotions and decisions for your family.

To illustrate the depth of this transition, let’s consider a scenario involving Mrs. Thompson, an elderly woman moving to The Kensington Falls Church. 

Through her journey, we can understand the range of emotions one might go through and the preparation needed to ensure a smooth transition.

Addressing fears and concerns

Mrs. Thompson was initially apprehensive about the move, dealing with a mix of anxiety and fear about leaving her home. 

To address these feelings, her family engaged her in open conversations about her concerns, ensuring her that her needs and preferences would be respected. 

They also involved her in the selection process of the community, giving her a sense of control and familiarity with her new environment.

Set realistic expectations

Together, Mrs. Thompson and her family discussed the benefits and limitations of assisted living, helping set realistic expectations. 

When her loved ones involved her in the discussion about assisted living, Mrs. Thompson felt more understood and supported, diminishing her initial apprehensions

Strategies for emotional and mental preparation

Mrs. Thompson and her family also worked together to create a positive mindset. 

They explored the assisted living community, met with their team of professionals and other residents, and focused on the exciting aspects of the move, such as the opportunity to make new friends and participate in various activities

Emphasizing the positive aspects helped in building anticipation and reducing anxiety for Mrs. Thompson.

Mini checklist for emotional preparation:

  • Focus on the positive aspects of the move
  • Engage with future neighbors and staff
  • Participate in available activities
  • Encourage excitement and anticipation

Choose assisted living with comprehensive care

Moving to an assisted living community is not just about selecting the right place—it’s about creating a home within it. 

Let’s revisit Mrs. Thompson as she navigates through this phase.

Finding a senior living community that offers more healthcare options

When Mrs. Thompson’s family was selecting a senior living community, their priority was finding one that offers the possibility to “age in place,” which means that she won’t have to move again as her care needs progress.  

They focused on senior living communities that provide high acuity care, allowing residents to stay in the same place even as their needs change. 

Mrs. Thompson’s family knew the transition would be tough, and they didn’t want her to undergo it again due to changing care needs.

Tip: Look for communities that explicitly state they offer continuous care so residents can “age in place”, such as The Kensington Falls Church. This means that as levels of need change, they would not have to move to a different community.

Smart downsizing and decluttering

Downsizing belongings can be daunting, but specific strategies can make it manageable.

Mrs. Thompson and her family began by categorizing her belongings into “Must-Have,” “Maybe Keep,” and “Don’t Need.” 

They kept items with sentimental value and those necessary for daily living in the “Must-Have” category, ensuring Mrs. Thompson’s new space felt like home. 

Unnecessary furniture and unused items were either sold or donated, and duplicate items were reduced to just one.

Quick Tips:

  • Start early: Begin the downsizing process well before the move.
  • Prioritize needs: Keep daily use items and those with emotional value.
  • Sell or donate: Consider selling furniture that won’t fit in the new space or donate to local charities.

Creating a homey atmosphere

After decluttering, personalizing the space becomes pivotal. 

Mrs. Thompson brought along her favorite armchair, photographs, and a quilt made by her granddaughter, making her new living area feel familiar and cozy, a true reflection of her.

Tip: Prioritize personal and sentimental items when deciding what to bring—it helps in maintaining a sense of self and creates comfort in the new environment.

Streamline moving timelines, secure professional assistance, and manage health needs

Managing the transition involves a thoughtful combination of logistical planning, professional assistance, and detailed attention to health and medication needs to ensure a seamless experience.

Planning and coordination:

  1. Set clear milestones: Define a move-in date and create a checklist of tasks.
  2. Coordinate with the community: Liaise with the facility’s staff to sort out all logistics before the move-in date.

Professional assistance:

  1. Hire professional help: Consider moving services and senior move managers.
  2. Organize legal and paperwork: Ensure all documents are in order and discussed well in advance.

Health and medication:

  1. Organize medical records: Arrange medical records and healthcare plans.
  2. Ensure seamless care transition: Establish clear communication lines between old and new care providers to avoid any gaps in care and medication needs.

Building community rapport and staying connected

Loneliness in seniors is a significant concern known as “the silent epidemic.” 

This is why moving a loved one to a community like The Kensington Falls Church can be so beneficial for improving their well-being and physical health.

Let’s consider Mrs. Thompson again. Even though she doesn’t live with her family anymore, that doesn’t mean she’s alone or isolated. 

With regular video calls facilitated by The Kensington team, she remains a vital part of her family’s life. And, when her family visits, the well-planned and inclusive activities at The Kensington Falls Church make every moment spent together special and memorable.

Mrs. Thompson is also making new friends and participating in community activities. 

Every day is a chance for her to share stories and create new memories, which she excitedly shares with her family whenever they visit or call. 

Make the transition to senior living at The Kensington Falls Church

The Kensington Falls Church is more than just an assisted living community—it’s a place where residents and their families find peace and support, and receive comprehensive healthcare support for their varied needs.

Within our community, residents enjoy the following (among many others): 

We’re happy to provide you with tips for a transition to assisted living for you and your loved one. 

Reach out to us or schedule a tour with your loved one and experience firsthand the warm, welcoming community at The Kensington Falls Church.